My Education: Moody Dipper (Thirty Ghost Records, 2006)

by Jason

My Education Moody DipperMy Education have released a new three track EP along with four remixes of three song from their Italian disc. Moody Dipper boasts 17 minutes of new music and remixes by Dalek, Red Sparowes, Teith, and Kinski. My Education creates their unique sound with viola, organs, pianos and also the standards of electric guitar and much more. This makes this particular post-rock band stand out in the crowd of ever growing instrumental bands. As one travels through the three new tracks, one gets the impression that My Education is reaching a maturity in their sound and writing ability.

“Spirit of Peace” begins the disc with a beautiful piano line that reminds one of far-eastern music. This is joined by the viola, and the arrangement is just stunning. Evoking Japanese gardens and peaceful meditation, this track is eventually filled out with the rest of the band. Acoustic guitar, steel guitar, percussion, vibraphones, and bass join in to fill out the sound without loosing that far-eastern feel. Elegant and powerful. “Armistice Day” also takes advantage of the multiple instruments available to My Education. Here, lap steel, strings, electric guitar, percussion, and bass are playfully melded into beautiful harmony. There is an old, southern feel to this song that is patient and nostalgic. This track is a beautiful piece of instrumentation, both complex and masterful.

“Green Arrow: Dead Verse Remix” is a track from their Italian cd and is remixed by Dalek. The drone that is one their former album continues throughout the track, but, eventually, a hip-hop inspired beat is added to the track. Adding a little of their own flavor to the mix, they do not entirely destroy the song but bring a fresh new interpretation to it. That said, I think that the higher droning sound gets somewhat monotonous. The track should have been truncated and the drone taken down in the mix. Eventually though, there are many more things going on in the mix, creating layers of interesting sounds that make up for the distracting drone. The Red Sparowes lend their own craft to “Snake in the Grass: Red Sparowes Mix.” There is a sound that sours in and out of the speakers and the drums thump and pound with utter tenacity. The effect is a more aggressive piece that has more grit and drive. The track is molded into a Red Sparowes style song that has tons of experimental elements to it. In an explosive bridge, and I do mean that it sounds like multi-explosions, the tune turns into an interesting slow track with scratchy sounds and an interesting bass line. Broken glass falls to the ground under the strum of a vibrating guitar. Horses whiney amongst industrial sounds and feet walking across floors. And then there is utter silence.

Teith contribute a remix of “Green Arrow: Teith Mix.” Teith is an experimental band in line with Boards of Canada mixed with some shoegaze and large, thumping bass. With “Green Arrow,” they do not shy away from placing their experimental paws on the track. Full of fuzz and wavering sounds, a wall of sound undulates under their artistic gaze. They blend Boards of Canada style electronics with My Education’s eclectic expertise. This combination makes for beautiful chaos. Kinski lend their remixing hand to “Puppy Love: Kinski Remix.” A Deerhoofesque band, they bring straightforward rock-riffs and blend them with experimental and psychedelic sounds. The beginning of “Green Arrow” sound exactly like a My Education track should sound. Eventually, there is a subtle sort of Indian, psychedelic feel to it. Eventually a torrent what sounds like random drums and screeching guitar come into the mix. The result is even more chaos and utter pandemonium.

“Moody Dipper” is the last of the songs and is also the last of the three new songs from My Education. It begins with very quiet guitar and moves into a light, blissful mix of stripped down drums, guitar, and vibraphones. The song progresses in a similar fashion throughout with enough twists and turns to satisfy the listener.

My Education is a band that has monumentally grown in their career. These three new songs showcase that very fact. My real beef with this disc is the remixes. I am one that finds them very interesting, but I found the song order a bit odd. Why squeeze the remixes in-between new songs? I found that this broke up the continuity of the new tunes and the mixes. That said, this is well worth your hard earned cash. I just can’t wait for another full length to satisfy my need for My Education.

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