I Am Spoonbender
Shown Actual Size

Label: Gold Standard Labs
Release Date: Sep-30-1998


The more you travel beneath the surface of the astounding CD-EP Shown Actual Size, however, the more you are exposed to an entire universe of meaning, emotion, and sound, a heart beating in the technology, or, more precisely, the ghost returning to haunt its machine, as wire and circuit transmogrify into flesh and blood. A major evolution from previous recordings is the band's wholesale adoption of vocals, and it has significant impact on the overall sound. Cup's oddly beguiling monotone takes the edge off the most angular IAS tendencies, even as Dustin Donaldson's shadow vocals, which seep from the song architectures like subliminal suggestions, brilliantly enhance the music's genuine paranormality (as opposed to its sonic paranoia). All three songs are marvels, unfolding intuitively, organically, every note coaxed out of analog synthesizers and played rather than looped or sequenced. "I Went and Had My Knives Sharpened" poses a creepy and profound metaphysical question regarding identity and its preservation, the austerity of which is instantly punctured by "Remover-Installer," a riot of absurd, surrealistic wordplay and the most whimsy Spoonbender has ever displayed. Even next to those awesome tracks, though, "Re-Dial Meant 'Remember'" stands out, nearly eight entrancing minutes, like an artificial intelligence gradually coming into emotional vitality.

1. I Went And Had My Knives Sharpened
2. Remover-Installer
3. Re-Dial Meant "Remember"

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