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gnac || Friend Sleeping (VES 010)

The first full-length album by GNAC released in 1999.

CD only in jewel case.

Please note that this item is new but not shrink wrapped.


Friend Sleeping
Hennebert Sleeve
Continental Balcony Twilight
Ice Cream Van
Nanami Togarashi
Stepping Aside
A Vantage Point Is The Top Of A Tree
Bad Self Portrait

"As compelling and delicately focused as the singles collection Sevens, Friend Sleeping is further proof that Mark Tranmer (aka gnac) has an apt and talented ear for rock and pop instrumentation as the basis for a new kind of chamber music. The opening track, "Friend Sleeping" itself, makes that connection clearer than most, with a string-synth background recalling Cranes' quietly majestic "Watersong," though with a slightly gentler feeling to its air of shadowy mystery. Tranmer's keyboard work is the core throughout, the musician playing deliberately paced melodies that capture a certain European cinematic flavor -- Paris after midnight, Cold War Berlin in winter as the guards pace their rounds, pick a preferred image as one wishes. The song called "Continental Balcony Twilight" is perfectly appropriate as a result, though interestingly enough that's one of the tracks that prominently features guitar together with the synth performances, along with "A Vantage Point Is the Top of a Tree." "Bad Self Portrait" is the best of these combinations, the overdubbed guitar parts creating a lovely web of acoustic filigrees that the stripped-down piano part softly sinks through. Songs like "Hennebert Sleeve" and "Plink," the latter especially compelling with its combination of lead piano, looped strings, and darker trip-hop touched beats, explore the overall atmosphere in further detail, dreamily compelling throughout. "Stepping Aside," meanwhile, could almost be later Cocteau Twins with an emphasis on piano rather than feedback, slowly descending melodies floating through the electronic beats. There's a bit of a quirky if not slightly goony flavor in "Nanami Togarashi" -- one can almost imagine Peter Sellers peering quizzically around a corner, or should that be Austin Powers?"

(Ned Raggett.)