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  • Archives
     

    Group Rhoda – “Out of Time – Out of Touch” – [Night School]

    group-rhoda-work_1
    Pastel ice. Before buying this, I dug samples of Group Rhoda
    online, feeling like a blend of cold wave revival with a more
    romantic, lyrical approach. Despite its name, Group Rhoda is
    neither. It is however a one-woman project put together by
    Mara Barenbaum. Interestingly Mara is not some Berlin 80’s
    frau fatale, but working today out of nearby San Francisco!
    She’s got an interesting clipped accent when she sings, and
    her phrases (and word choices) have an odd aspect, the Remind
    me of a person in a crowd viewing a painting, who comments
    solely on the frame. The framing here is an array of
    sibilant drum machines that sashay and banks of keys, lot’s
    of bright electric piano style, rather than the icy stark
    sounds of yesteryears synth pop. Ornate little arpeggiated
    bridges. Topics match the classical minimal vibe, scary
    stuff like isolation…silence….lawyers… “I get so scared”
    and “To walk away without a trace.” I could see some
    ambient types remixing this in a lot of directions,
    cranking up the haunted vibe or adding some organic warmth.
    I expect live, things are more austere and maybe more
    driven. But I kind of dig the airbrush leisure on some
    of the tracks, not quite as happy as Arthur Russell but
    more in that vein than the Suicide citings. And again her
    singing put me off a little at first but really won me over,
    as if she went to an English as a second language class taught
    by Yoko Ono. Nice release, and kicks ass vs the Mary Tyler
    Moore Project!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on May 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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