XXL (Xiu Xiu/Larsen) – Düde (Tin Angel)

Xiu Xiu, the avant-garde noiseniks from San Jose, have teamed up with Italian rockers Larsen for another LP in their tried-and-tested method of ‘real-time’- improvising, arranging and recording the entirety of the new album within ten days down in Torino, Italy. It’s worth noting that this is the first XXL album featuring Angela Seo instead of Carolee McElroy, who departed the Xiu Xiu to join Cold Cave way back in 2009. Following on from ?Spicchiology?, which saw XXL mesh together as a band to be taken seriously, rather than a mere side project, Düde points the collective in a firm direction, honing their sound and forming the foundations of a prolonged bond between the two.

Released Jul 8th, 2012 via Tin Angel / By Larry Day
XXL (Xiu Xiu/Larsen) – Düde (Tin Angel)Disco Chrome’, a free download from the album, leans more on Xiu Xiu’s sound, with disjointed chunks of discordant distortion and a rampant percussive typhoon suddenly, and chaotically, exploding forth. Ernesto Tomasini’s theatrical falsetto (recorded via phone call) pierces through the synth barrage; the resulting effort being a stern and untamed, a welcome slice of energy surrounded by sprawling legato pads.

Aural triptych ‘Film Me In The Laundry’ opens and closes the album, also providing an interval midway through Düde. The three parts work together to guide the listener through the improvisations and frame the sound to highlight the remaining tracks. Part one is spacious, almost otherworldly, culminating in ethereal fuzz. Part two is considerably shorter, bridging the gap between the brass of ‘Absorption’ and the Korean spoken word of ‘Krampus’. Part three serves as a final curtain, summing up the album in fifty seconds of cyclic echoes.

Oi! Düde’ is edging toward nineteen minutes of solid Krautrock. A marathon more than a sprint, XXL take their time with the epic, careening through tangents of shoegazer effects, random percussive beats and wailing feedback loops. As tangible structure peers through the layers, a tribal drum pattern takes hold, galvanising the other instruments into a heady, brash and potentially self-indulgent melting pot of lurid cacophony.

Düde is a wild ride through various distinct genres, each one smothered in the idiosyncratic Xiu Xiu/Larsen feel, with expansive synth descents and cosmic guitars. Each track is a vibrant and spontaneous thrust of creative force, clearly controlled by the dominating forces of XXL, and although it was improvised, it feels like the record has always been at their fingertips, ready to go.