Released in: 2000
File under: Unexpected
The Dishes Project has been on a long hiatus, and partially that's because I didn't want to listen to the next CD in line. I vaguely remembered that Couch were some early project of Kieran Hebden and that I didn't care for the album. False on both counts, although perhaps my taste has merely changed (matured?) with respect to the latter.
The name of Kieran Hebden's early project is Fridge (I was close), and this album is excellent. It's post-rock done very well, with the right balance of interesting sound textures, melodic elements and motif repetition. Post-rock = bands that use the instruments of rock (in this case, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards) but without rock/pop song structure. Post-rock bands vary in how much they end up sounding like electronica (in developing and repeating themes) and/or jazz (in noodling around). Fantasy is more on the electronica end and also encroaches somewhat on shoegaze, especially in the final track Gegen Den. The stand-out tracks are the gently propulsive opener Ich Bei Davor, guitar-heavy (in a good way) Control, and the contemplative Nah Dran. Ich Bei Davor and Nah Dran are available at my blip.fm profile if you want to take a listen.
As some of the song titles suggest, Couch is a German band. The keyboard player, Stefanie Boehm, turns out to be half of Ms. John Soda -- a band on Morr that I like. So perhaps I was bound to be a fan of this album, but it seems fortuitous that The Dishes Project has restarted with such a pleasant surprise.