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IN WAKE OF A DYING NATION

6LA8

Progressive Electronic


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The Truth
COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars Three disk efforts are extremely hard to pull off, every once in awhile you get a Joanna Newsom or Frank Zappa to come along and they can do it like nobody's business. Others fail miserably. 6LA8 create a triple album that truly keeps the listeners attention the whole time, a feat which is awfully difficult with dronetronic post-rock. Nonetheless, this album is a great one.

Reason #1: Look at those song titles! I could spend days reading all of those!

Reason #2: The tracks are extremely varied and switch moods and genres quite often which helps the album be cohesive despite it's length.

Reason #3: The tracks are beautiful. This is one of those albums that really takes me on trips and I absolutely love it.

However, the length does prevent me from listening to it often. It's a treat every time I do but I just can't find the time alot of the time. Each disk separately would probably all be 4 star albums but with it's massive length, 3 stars although they almost pulled it off.

This is still an album worth everyone's attention as it's free on their bandcamp and will give the avid listener a real treat. Try out other albums before this one!

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Send comments to The Truth (BETA) | Report this review (#573317)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Pakistani electronic post-rock for almost 4 hours.

Yes, almost 4 hours; In Wake of a Dying Nation is a very overbearingly longwinded album and I'm actually surprised I made it through the entire set. This being said, it's actually not bad music at all. It's actually quite dreamy, in fact. Still, almost 4 hours is unjustifiable.

But throughout this album's runtime you will hear variations on two more general genres: post-rock (typically either straight-up sluggish post-rock or 21st century electronically enhanced post-rock) and electronic (ambient or industrial). I personally have never been a fan of typical post-rock, and the post-rock present through this album is generally typical post-rock, featuing slow single note guitar picking that grows a bit louder as each track goes on. If you're a post-rock fan then have at it. But there are also the tracks that are more of the, what I call, 21st century electronically enhanced post-rock (God is an Astronaut, 65daysofstatic) that uses the same formula but ups the ante a bit by adding dense electronic backdrops and faint IDM techniques. This style is displayed well on tracks like "Loadshedding Brings an Empowering Visit to Our Moonlit Rooftops" and "Triumph of Some Win Replaces All Lives and Hearts Lost". I can see how fans of modern post-rock might seriously enjoy this group, but this style simply tests my patience too much.

While a large chunk of this album is relatively boring, a few tracks stand out. "We Lost Much in the Flood, But at least there is Farmville" is a guitar laden depressor of a track reminiscent of Fripp & Eno's No Pussyfooting but luckily doesn't come off as a rip- off at all. "Choices Plague You, Let Only a Single Voice Be Heard" is a mid-paced post- industrial minimal techno track that sounds like a less involved Monolake track from Momentum. On some of the more drone-oriented ambient tracks on this album there is a huge Manuel Gottsching influence, like on "Tired Faces Look at Dawn with Resigned Lives" which loops a lonely guitar staccato over a passionately drifting soundscape that concludes with piercing sirens. 6LA8 also show an intent to be experiemental, which is very apparent on "Feverish Missteps and a Burning Tape of Drama and Revolution" which is abraisively percussive and features glitchy Italian vocal samples and a grindingly repetitive mechanical synth loop.

Though this group is from Pakistan, it wouldn't be obvious through listening to most of their music. Elements of middle Eastern music do show through occasionally though, such as on "We Ride through Deserts and Think of Lives Forlorn" which plays with an obvious middle Eastern tonality and beat, and on the opening track to the first disc there is a very emotive middle Eastern percussion (I won't pretend like I know the name of the exact instrument - Tabla, maybe?).

I went into this album excepting that I would be overwhelmed by the overwhelming runtime of this three disc debut album, but I left with almost an hour of tracks that I really do enjoy. While I think there is a huge misstep in terms of quality control, I think 6LA8 have crammed enough music into their debut for anyone interested in electronic music or post-rock to leave with at least a standard album length worth of enjoyable material. In Wake of a Dying Nation is a definite winner for most inaccesible format for a debut album ever, but I can't consider it too much of a winner in any other category.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#634152)
Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars 6LA8: In Wake of a Dying Nation [2010]

Rating: 2/10

There's nothing worse than an album that is both dull and long. In Wake of a Dying Nation, the debut album from Pakistani post-rock/ambient duo 6LA8, manages to exhibit both of these qualities in overarching abundance. I have listened to a lot of music during my nineteen years on this earth, but this may be the longest album I have ever come in contact with. A three-disc, 39-track affair, In Wake of a Dying Nation is a three-and-a-half hour monument to homogenous repetition. After hearing the first three tracks, you've pretty much heard them all; the band pulls the same punches over and over again. And over again. And again. And yet again until, once the album has finally concluded, you begin to wonder what better things you could have been doing for the past four hours of your all-too-quickly fleeting existence.

This is a terribly generic post-rock album that revels in the conventions of the genre: low-key twangy guitars, melancholic atmosphere, ambient interludes, and extensive sampling. Not to mention the song titles! I stopped caring about the track names after getting about nine songs in; I can only take so many nonsensical sentence-long titles before apathy takes over. Post-rock is not my genre of choice, but even the most hardcore fan of the genre will probably find this to be a derivative and boring listen.

Am I being too harsh? Probably. Some of 6LA8's future albums are quite good, and none of the music on this album is particularly bad. I don't find myself disgusted with these tracks, and I can actually enjoy some of them in isolation. However, these pieces are unable to hold my attention throughout an entire disc, much less three. I would have stopped about a fifth of the way through this album were it not for some irrational commitment. This is a musical chore: that statement alone should sufficiently summarize my distaste.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#773376)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 | Review Permalink

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