Julian Fane

Our New Quarters

BY Cam LindsayPublished May 23, 2007

Julian Fane is not your typical Planet Mu artist. His label describes Our New Quarters as "Girls like it… People who hate Planet Mu will like it… He’ll probably sign to some other big label,” but in all fairness, the first two comments are a pretty fair description of this Vancouver-based musician. Compared to the rest of his label-mates (µ-Ziq, Luke Vibert, Hrvatski), Fane works in a distinct space, producing coherent music. However, it’s hardly one-dimensional. Our New Quarters, his follow-up to 2004’s debut Special Forces, finds him edging closer towards more conventional song structures (i.e., with vocals) in the vein of laptop-wielding shoegazer enthusiasts like M83 and Ulrich Schnauss. "The Moon is Gone” is a perfect example, beginning quietly then building into a blanket of swelling reverb when it reaches the half-way mark. "Plastics For A Heart,” meanwhile, channels the "hopelandic” spirit of Sigur Rós. Fane’s not content with limiting himself though; he reduces his arsenal of gadgets to a mere piano on the sparsely poignant "Downfall” and gets spastically noisy like Thom Yorke during one of Kid A’s more rhythmic freak-outs on "Break and Enter.” The only thing holding back this studio wiz kid is an ability to draw the listener in with strong melodic hooks, which would complement the gorgeous soundscapes. His ambition is sizeable and his technique proficient, which leads me to believe that it’s only a matter of time before he finds that big label.
(Planet Mu)

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