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Quick Hits: Oppenheimer’s Elevators / Havana Swim Club / Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp

Last updated on October 19, 2021

Cosmogony 3000 – Oppenheimer’s Elevators. Cosmogony 3000 combines the repetition of mid-century modernism, the gently reverbed approach of dream-pop, and the guitar-centric ideas of post-rock into a deeply creative, wonderfully idiosyncratic collection. The band usually builds out one main melodic idea and repeat it with variations, counterpoints, tonal shifts, and layers; this results in tunes that are fully-realized and mature in their outlook while still being exciting. “The Verb” and “Le ciel et la terre” are evocative, engaging pieces without ever going for the big move like much post-rock does. The band is confident in its work, and therefore can easily make understated pieces shine. Highly recommended.

Havana Swim Club – Havana Swim Club. This is a whole album of old-school tropicalia samples layered with beats, bass, and synths. It comes off with hazy, triumphant glory as a pitch-perfect chillwave album from when Teen Daze was new. “Peaches,” “For Blake” and “Wonder” are absolutely brilliant slices of relaxation pop. (The strings of “Wonder” set it apart as a true highlight.) “Yeah,” “1 2 3 4,” and “Jubilee” are funky neo-disco cuts (why not?). “Nature” blurs the line between homage and parody of space-age bachelor pad sounds. “Energy” blends all three of those ideas together for a truly unique experience. This is a fascinating, relaxing, immersive album.

We’re OK. But We’re Lost Anyway. Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. You’d be forgiven if you thought that the serious orchestral composition of opener “Be Patient” and the frantic, guitar-driven, shout-along post-punk of “So Many Things (To Feel Guilty About)” came from different outfits, but nope: the Orchestre is the sort of unit that just does whatever it wants. If you’re up for adventurous music that explodes all categories with pretty much every track, apply within. Highly recommended.