Imagine if funk/dub went ambient. Well, it just did. Loudspeaker Speaker Meets Clearly Human‘s Like 10 Feet Tall is a great addition to the ever-over-stuffed, ever-growing category of instrumental music. Loudspeaker Speaker Meets Clearly Human is a wordy name, and it’s not super-creative (it’s the stage names of Jason Falk (Clearly Human) and Chad Imes (Loudspeaker Speaker), but it tells the listener what they’re getting: the cohesive meeting of some musical minds. Basically, Falk plays percussion and Imes has his way with the rest of the sound of the album. That’s not to put Falk out of the limelight, however.
To explain how the two work together, the opener “Loudspeaker Speaker Meets Clearly Human” is a great starting point. Ghostly chime sounds open the album, while Clearly Human’s metallic drumming courts the pace of the chimes. The chimes then get wiped away and Loudspeaker Speaker moves in with some funky bass lines. After a bit of this, the chime sound weaves in and out periodically, which then paves the road for some guitar. Such introductions and removals of sound are methodical and calculated, but help to create a grand musical mosaic.
The album becomes pretty trance-like, and the shifts in tracks will be barely noticed by the average listener. The second track “No Change” beings with a similar bass line, guitar, and chimes as heard on the opener.Then Loudspeaker Speaker slaps you awake with what sounds like the cross between a terrified scream and a tire squeal. It’s the suggestion that you’ve just walked into these guys’ haunted house of ambient funk.
“Like a Beat-Up El Camino Hittin’ Switches” and “Little Brother FM” are two of the most interesting tracks. With names like those, the instrumentals have a lot of catching up to do. “Little Brother FM” begins with a banging drum beat, that opens for a high-pitched guitar squeak fest. Then, at around a minute and thirty seconds, what sounds like a cello comes in from left field. The track at first suggests a possible interruption with some self-pleasuring guitar wankery, but it becomes clearer that Loudspeaker Speaker is obviously more concerned about creating cohesive tracks. On “Like A Beat-Up El Camino Hittin Switches,” the drums hit hard sounding and eho-ey that get paired up with a mechanical bell sound. The best way to imagine it is a clock tower traveling through space. The musical suprises and unique sounds never stop, but to describe them all would take days. It would be better for the reader if that time was spent zoning out to the great beats of Loudspeaker Speaker Meets Clearly Human.