RENFRO: Mathematics (Meltwater Records)


Posted on Jan 4th 2009 09:35 pm

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Renfro: Mathematics

Meltwater Records 2008
11 Tracks. 38mins54secs

The mathematics of this UK based duo consists in playing with the quantity, structure, space and change of symbols associated with the pop and avant-garde realms, respectively. The tracks are equally beholden to West-Coast vocal harmonies, traditional song structures and to spectral groans and fizzing static. It’s a disarmingly simple idea, but owing to the quick combinatorics, the resulting music is rich and complex.

Gingerly tapped teeth, burning plastic, and Nasa feeds from deep space represent a few of the sound sources that Renfro integrate and alienate in these works. Far from being a sign of frivolousness, the duo work these elements into dulcet passages of slowly shifting timbre. If anything the integration occasionally works too well, and the peculiar and fickle side of the sounds drowns in favor of a state of harmoniousness.

When this is better managed, however, the voices still hover like innocent martyrs while shuddering fields of rhythmic noise generate a rough and exciting listening experience. In works such as Broken Little Pieces, then, one can either grapple with the machines or fall into the fluid sense of momentum. There is thus some marvelous interplay between these two spheres, often cemented by big moments of structural influx. Were the pieces to accumulate more depth and complexity of gesture, the results would be all the more absorbing.


Icon: arrow Renfro (MySpace) | Meltwater Records
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