Al Marantz, the Cambridge-based writer and performer of regularly catchy, lo-fi pop tunes, has a way of reaching into thin air and picking out the pop-cultural threads that unify us as we drift endlessly in our (sub)urban ocean. His synth lines swirl around like droplets of glow-stick fluid in water, propelled forward by shuffling grooves. The various tracks on his new release Forgotten Device, available for order through OSR tapes, allude to a diffuse constellation of sounds—Lou Reed and Stereolab for example—with a dash of the surreal thrown into his lyrics. It’s these sorts of juxtapositions that help to bring the tape to life. Between its exterior of lo-fi bedroom psychedelia and its retrospective skeleton of stylistic influences, Forgotten Device seems to project more of an inward gaze than last year’s Next to Christie’s, one that opens onto inner vistas and instills a sense of nocturnal peace.
The preview below contains two tracks, “White Marimba” and “Black Magic Mystery.” To hear the whole thing you’ll have to order it from Zach Phillip’s OSR Tapes, or check out one of their distributors near you. See their website for a complete list.