Blank Blue: Western Water Music Vol. II | Ubiquity
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  June 3, 2008
4.0 4.0 Stars
In 1966, Brian Wilson heard Rubber Soul and flipped. He coped by recording Pet Sounds and unleashing a sound that would cast a spell over ambitious studio musicians the world over. Now into its third decade, the influence of what Wilson heard in his head shows no signs of fading. Witness the continuing adventures of Nobody, the nom de production of California cratedigger Elvin Estela. His latest concept suite, a collaboration with fellow record nerd Niki Randa on vocals, is the second installment in the Western Water Music series he began with 2003’s Pacific Drift. Blank Blue is a post-apocalyptic scenario in which hip, evolved Californians have seceded from all square and intense points east of them and are living underwater on mushrooms. It’s the Monkees’ “Porpoise Song” (a track Nobody has covered) expanded into a full-blown stoner opera sponsored by DJ Shadow and the ghost of J Dilla. Having traveled from Todd Rundgren and Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk to the full-blown ’90s revival of the High Llamas and the Wondermints, Wilson’s pet sounds of lush reverie tinted with longing and disappointment here fuse with other scenes (abstract hip-hop, spacy folk, neo-prog) in the current brain-melting pot that is contemporary hipster LA. The good news: they sound as good and fresh as ever.
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