The first Night Control album took more than 10 years to get here, but it was so deeply worth the wait. Lovingly assembled by our friends at Kill Shaman, ï¿½Death Controlï¿½ collects the best of a massive back-catalog of unreleased home recordings by a prolific, enigmatic, and multitalented gent named Christopher Curtis Smith. Expertly crafted and wonderfully warped, it’s perfect pop buried in a junkyard of tape hiss and psychedelic weirdness.
More than that, ï¿½Death Controlï¿½ is a journey through the fractal history of recorded music: old songs loved but forgotten reach out across the years to become the new songs you canï¿½t believe you haven’t heard before. A mental catalog of ephemeral hits and phantom classics is rebuilt from memory and transformed into something rich and strange: the overpowering dï¿½jï¿½ vu of sonic true love, the beauty of the lost and found, is the territory Night Control calls home.
Though the album as a whole tends to drift in and out of immediate consciousness, that is by no means a bad thing, and there are enough instantly satisfying tracks dispersed throughout to snap it all back into focus (my favorites: ï¿½Good Looks,ï¿½ ï¿½Star 131ï¿½). Give it time. A little patience exposes new layers to unpeel with every listen. File with Ariel Pink, John Maus, early Pavement, the Olivia Tremor Control, and other underground pop iconoclasts in the music library of your heart.
- Buy it from Kill Shaman
- Night Control on Myspace
Update/Disclaimer: This post and the post containing an announcement about a live Night Control show at the Smell in 2009 on this site were recently brought to my attention in the context of my current membership in the band. To clarify, at the times that both posts were written in 2009 I was not a member of Night Control, nor was my involvement in the band anticipated in any way at that point. I joined the band in 2010 to play live shows as the drummer and to date have not been on any of the Night Control recordings played on KSPC, nor have I personally played Night Control recordings on KSPC since joining the band. Per the FCC’s plugola rules (and as a matter of integrity), KSPC staff and volunteers are prohibited from playing their own bands, bands on their record label(s), or otherwise announcing any event or anything else in which they have a financial interest. When or if Night Control records show up on the charts at KSPC, it is because KSPC DJs have chosen to play the album. If the KSPC concert calendar includes Night Control shows (among the 20-30 other concerts mentioned for the week), it is because our student staff have chosen to include the concert — and the inclusion is not in violation of FCC rules. — Erica Tyron, Director of College Radio at KSPC 6/20/2016