White Rainbow, New Clouds
Portland drone master gets a little dystopic on his latest
Portland one-man texture cloud Adam Forkner, a.k.a White Rainbow, has been turning somnambulant drones into his mystical playgrounds for the better part of the decade, and now adopts a slightly harder, slightly more free-form edge. Over the course of four albums (and a boxed set!) Forkner has reveled in languid drones, hypnotic campfire drumming, hazy Terry Riley organs and Pink Floyd acid-fried guitar solos — think Animal Collective without the songs, Jackie-O Motherfucker without the attitude problem, Windy & Carl with a backbeat. None of that has changed on his second album for Kranky, but his Tangerine Dreams have turned into lengthy Black Dice nightmares, allowing for his gorgeous West Coast drifts to battle squelchy, restless rhythms for up to 20 minutes at a time. Its four massive tracks are meant to engulf four sides of vinyl, each playing like a massive prog-rock opera performed on top of beautiful, static drone; each going through massive transformations, from subtle walks to triumphant guitar fireworks. "All The Boogies And All" begins with ebullient percussion-happy electro-pulses and ends up a desolate landscape. Opener "Thursday Rollers And Strollers" becomes so hard-rocking and multi-layered that it could double as a drummerless Mars Volta track — ripping guitar solos and all.