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Salaryman Salaryman album cover
4.00 | 1 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rather (3:48)
2. Inca Picnic (6:31)
3. Voids+Superclusters (5:53)
4. New Centurions (4:57)
5. Burning At The Stake (4:10)
6. I Need A Monkey (5:37)
7. Hummous (7:17)
8. Foral Clock (4:53)
9. Tilo (4:43)
10. Pull A Tube (5:54)
11. Voids+Superclusters (R. Money remix) (5:15)
12. Colonel In A Blanket (3:53)

Line-up / Musicians

- Howie Kantoff / acoustic and electric drums
- Rose Marshack / low mono, samples, broadcast
- Jim Valentin / e-bow, organ, theremin
- Rick Valentin / high poly, samples, edit

Releases information

Twelve Inch Records

Thanks to zravkapt for the addition
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SALARYMAN Salaryman ratings distribution

(1 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SALARYMAN Salaryman reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by zravkapt
4 stars I wish these guys were called Celerymen, an even stupider name but it rolls off the tongue better. Anyway, this band was formed by three members of the indie rock band The Poster Children along with a drummer not in that group. Apparently they formed this instrumental offshoot as somewhat of a parody of the music of Tortoise and other bands who were getting the "post-rock" label at the time. Although the song titles and some of the spoken word bits are humourous, the music itself rarely comes off as 'funny'. Instead, it can be downright dark and menacing at times.

This album was recorded in 1996 but released in early 1997. When this was recorded the term "post-rock" meant something very different than what it means these days. It originally applied to groups who were considered too electronic to be just 'rock'. These early bands from the early to mid-90s were influenced by post-punk, Krautrock, dub reggae, IDM and jazz fusion. In the late 90s you had bands like Mogwai, GYBE and Sigur Ros who threw out the dub, IDM and fusion influences and replaced them with influences from shoegaze, Swans and Sonic Youth. This second wave of bands were more popular and influential; Salaryman belongs to the first wave.

At the time most "post-rock" bands came from either London or the American midwest (but even Australia's Dirty Three were an exception). Salaryman were in the same boat as the American bands but they didn't have any fusion influences. Their music was groove oriented and keyboard oriented. They had guitars but a lot of the time you couldn't tell if what you were hearing was done on a guitar or keyboard. On top of that they used samples as well. Vocal samples also. You can hear people talking throughout the album; even though you can clearly understand the words spoken, everything is just random and taken out of context.

"Rather" opens the album based around a fairly cliche drumbeat, yet no other beat would be required. A cliche bassline on top but it's what going on above the rhythm section that make this track. "Inca Picnic" in contrast is both more electronic and uptempo. Overall a more mysterious and eerie vibe as well. "Voids+Superclusters" was the basis of an EP which is now a part of the whole album. A standout track, it doesn't build a crescendo but it does build in intensity. Based around a bass riff (on synth?) and a symphonic keyboard part which comes and goes. The drumming is some of the most busy and complex on the album.

"New Centurions" opens with a very cliche beat (something you would expect from a drum machine). Some sampled horn blasts are repeated in a rhythmic fashion. Like the rest of the album it's what's going on over top of the rhythm section that keeps you're interest. The drumming itself gets more varied and interesting later on. "I Need A Monkey" has a similar dark vibe to "Voids+Superclusters." Some nice organ in this track. "Hummous" features some of the best and more interesting drumming yet everything else is nowhere near as interesting. "Foral Clock" is probably the most electronic track. Some of the vocal samples are repeated to the point of being almost hypnotic. "Tilo" is the most Tortoise sounding track, especially what the bass and drums are doing. "Pull A Tube" is a very electronic track which ends with then President Bill Clinton saying: "...but the government can only do so much."

The next album Karoshi is in a similar style but perhaps even more 'proggy' sounding. If you're expecting anything like Explosions In The Sky or Russian Circles then this album will disappoint you; if you're into what bands like Tortoise and Trans Am were doing in the 1990s, this might be for you. The 1990s was a decade of awful genre names. Besides "post-rock" you had "Intelligent Dance Music," "Nu Metal" and "Trip-Hop." With '90s music you're better to ignore the label and just listen to the music to see(hear) if you like it. Not sure if physical copies exist anymore but all the band's albums are available via Bandcamp (they don't have an actual BC page, everything is on their homepage: I'll give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

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