Carpe Sonum is proud to unveil the CD reissue of the 2005 LP-only recording from Multicast. First gaining notoriety via their own Obliq Recordings imprint back in the early oughts, Colorado-based electronic musicians Dave Alexander, Jeff Holland, and Nathan Jantz haven't exactly vanished from the scene, releasing a slew of digital-only work in the interim. But their last appearance on a formal CD hasn't been seen since the inspired and often-inspiring Further Obliq Perspectives in 2002 (itself a compendium of tracks from Multicast and other Obliq artists), so this reissue is indeed cause for celebration.
Much has occurred both in, out, and around the various subphylum of electronic music during the past decade, and on Bahian Coastal Highway, Multicast make it abundantly clear that such diverse aesthetic approaches are integral to development and progression, as well as to the textural fiber binding the sinew of these densely calibrated tracks. The trio maintain that, "the feel we were shooting for was about arrival and departure, on a journey to Another Green World. There are Brazilian rhythms and chords, exotica and jungle references" with soundscapes conjuring "a new place, with new experiences met with open eyes." At times, the Balearic, sunny environments suggested by most of these tracks seems at odds with the group's former modus operandi, but then again, that's precisely the point. Sidestepping pat categorical references, Multicast feel that this recording is their "most refined and resolved effort, featuring crystalline beauty amid soap-opera melodies, meeting in a sunny place. There is collaboration and interplay in the songwriting and structure that could only come from years of playing together, and through a telepathic musical connection."
Listening to Bahian Coastal Highway, an almost jarring array of sonic contradictions make themselves felt, but damn if the whole thing doesn't still coalesce into a gorgeous whole. "Underdub", for instance, might not conjure the ghosts of Eno past, but it's solar-dappled synths, Hawaii-esque strings, and sputtering beats do in fact evoke imagistic landscapes sprouting forth all manners of chameleonic flora and fauna. Echoes of similarly-styled colleagues are evident throughout (Boards of Canada, Casino vs. Japan), but the aural melting pot that Multicast stir up feels far more pleasing to the palette; though recorded ten years ago, its embarassment of sonic riches remains thoroughly prescient. Though words such as 'sublime' tend to be casually bandied about when discussions of Multicast's type of fleet electronica arise, in this case that description is spot on. It doesn't come easy (what does?); the trio emphasize that though the end result is finely wrought during the editing process, "precision scalpel slicing and dicing can be a delicate thing." In the case of Bahian Coastal Highway, Multicast's keen attention to detail proffers us one helluva rich experience.
Usually downbeat, with interesting themes of summer melodics or western heat-drenched guitar atmospheres. The music is very
easy to listen to, even though a lot of their tracks have hints of experimental themes. Multicast are a talented Rural Colorado band and are recommended to anyone who has appreciation for skillful, clever electronic listening.