Review: Albert – James St. Murder Laden Mitten Wonder (2011)
James St. Murder Laden Mitten Wonder is the first official release of documented work by Minneapolis-based electronic artist, Albert Elmore. Containing material from his archive dating back to 2004, this hardcore/electronica album is nothing to scuff at. Just over 30 minuets this 10 track LP may be short, but you can’t judge a record by its length. In 33 minutes, this record will take you to some of the most absurd and obscure corners of your imagination. Elmore wrote, recorded and produced the entire album, which was put out by Minneapolis’ independent record label Totally Gross National Product.
The record itself boasts a picture of a growling cat, snarling its teeth on each side. Although upon further inspection I couldn’t help but notice that the picture on side B is subdued from the one of side A. This is a perfect minute detail that goes along with the music itself. The use of synthesizers and sequencers throughout are probably the only recognizable instruments to the average ear.
Side A is harder, more aggressive. The longest, and possibly my favorite track plays for 7:18, “The Lake City Monster Energy Drink.” At about the 5:40 mark it takes a pause and a turn, slowly fading out the track. It’s as if an astronaut stepped out of his spaceship and slowly floated away into the deep unknown. Following we have, “How Are Babby Twitter Vapre Form.” A short narration of a news editorial with a distorted voice over synth and down tempo beats. This track pops out at you, not only because it’s so strangely different (in the best way possible) but, because there is nothing else like it on the record. “Believe In Gaydon (henry)” has a simplistic yet exploratory sound. It starts with single pitches and chords under a beat and progresses layering on darker elements and tones. This creates an out of this world supernatural piece.
Then you have side B which starts out with “Luke Dragon’s Weed k hi” followed by “Murder Laden Indie Finger (Take A Biff Off)” which are more dance/electronica tracks. They are less aggressive than anything on side A. Each track is paired so perfectly with the ones before and after that it makes the arch of the record that much more inspiring. The last track “Mother Of Holy Hand Written Letter of Fate” brings the record to full circle. The mysterious sounds and transcendental feeling you get from side A is brought back to you. The album finishes leaving your mind floating off into beautiful absurdity.