The Crystal Ark The Crystal Ark

The Crystal ArkThe Crystal Ark
For an artist best known for such patient and even-tempered slow-builders, Gavin Russom's work as the Crystal Ark often feels plastic and distant, a direct conflict with his music's intended inflections. On Russom's debut as the Crystal Ark, the duo (along with bandmate Viva Ruiz) create an equatorial divide between headphone scratchers and dance floor stompers. Released on DFA Records, it helps that the Crystal Ark feature contributions from LCD Soundsystem alumni Tyler Pope and Matt Thornley, as tracks like Latin cowbell backbeater "We Came To" and the hipster diva workout of "Horns" follow James Murphy's tried-and-true recipe for critical affection. But Ruiz's split-personality crisis, masterfully demonstrated by her lip-smacky delivery ("Paradise") and her heartthrob-y moan ("Rain"), may be just the lube needed to loosen Russom's analogic mind. The Crystal Ark is a joyous, if not wholly original, piece of dance art, likening Russom's musical transformation to that of a Formula One driver getting behind the wheel of a stock car. (DFA)