Thomas Pynchon is an American novelist, known for his for his dense and complex novels. One of his most noted novels is 'The Crying Of Lot 49'. On the album I'm trying to review, you can see the muted post horn he used as a symbol for an ancient, underground mail service known as "The Tristero" or "Trystero". You can find everything else you need to know on Wikipedia. It's far too complicated to explain the whole here.
The album is called 'Thomas Pynchon Tribute Band', something which already sounds a bit strange and perhaps even enigmatic. Yet, in a way I can see where that name comes from, as the tracks on this album seem simple slabs of electronic music at first but become complex and immersive adventures after a closer listen. It's not easy to describe what I'm hearing, but you know me, I'll give it a shot.
Opener 'Reflections Of A Former Self' is an early morning afterclub tune, borrowing elements from house music and ancient electronics and throwing them into a lazy dance tunes. At least it feels that way. I can easily imagine a small crowd, sluggishly moving along with the music until the drugs have worn off. In that aspect, 'Frah JSX' seems to follow a similar approach, hidden beats, glitchy electronics and a strange atmosphere.
'Impromptu Slug' delves deeper into the bizarre, everything-is-possible approach of lo-fi electronic music, reminding me of acts like Cryovolcano or even a very young Autechre. The songs also seem to go on and on, secretly adding new elements and allowing others to fade out and fade away. Yet, not one of the used elements wants to be the protagonist, which isn't a bad thing. It means that everything fits quite well together.
There are more strange electronic tunes waiting for you on this album, like the ancient Kraftwerk experiment resembling 'Magisch Denken #1' or the strange ambient tune 'Phantasmic Extension'. Basically, I think it's safe to say that this is one weird piece of electronic music, seemingly performed live. My recommendation? Well, check it out because you rarely encounter something like this on Merchants Of Air.