Warped, the debut EP from electronic musician Big Spider's Back (Yair Rubinstein), takes the twenty five year old Seattle-based artist's compelling blend of ambient noise, decaying feedback and sample-based pop to the next level. What began as a bedroom recording project in the summer of 2007 has evolved into a distinctive sound, resulting in a unique voice within Seattle's music community. In addition, Yair's engaging multimedia live performances have won over audiences around the Northwest and beyond. With Warped, he plans to extend his innovative take on sampling and pop structure to a growing group of listeners.
The EP begins unassumingly with a ghostly vocal sample slowly fading in, anchored by the slow gallop of crashing drums and swelling synths, growing into a crescendo as the two ends meet in a rushing climax. The eerie tension established in this introduction characterizes the album's mix of jubilation with a constant undercurrent of dread bubbling just below the surface. Combining an assortment of found sounds and sampled psychedelia along with a steady stream of guitars and synthesizers, Warped maintains a dense array of sound throughout its brief runtime. Overlain onto its sonic structure are haunting vocals dripping with delay and reverb, along with lyrics that are evocative yet refrain from being overly suggestive. The result is a voice that blends into rather than foregrounds its surroundings.
The unique position occupied by Warped suggests elements of artists ranging from the distorted ambience of Fennesz to the sampledelica of Caribou and Panda Bear. In addition, the blissed out vocals hint at influences such as Atlas Sound and The Flaming Lips.
Over the course of its five songs, Warped avoids overstaying its welcome. Instead, it charts an interesting course that hints at what Big Spider's Back and his creative sound is capable of.