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“Take a look at Brad Laner’s musical career. It goes back to the early 1980s, when he was a teenager playing in bands around L.A. He played in Savage Republic, a highly influential group that anticipated a lot of ideas later explored in post-rock, his early 90s band Medicine was about as close as the U.S. got to answering My Bloody Valentine with its mix of surging noise and soft vocals, and he’s done tons of other stuff, with a recorded output that amounts to appearances on around 300 albums. So he’s already accomplished a lot, and that may be why, in 2007, when he finally issued his first album under his own name, it was such a casually assured-sounding work. He’s earned his way to a place where he can make whatever music he wants at whatever pace he wishes.
The same holds true on Natural Selections, which Laner himself has described as “a simulacrum of what the band of my dreams sounds like.” He took his time making it, laying down tracks in between his responsibilities as a father and laboring over the details– the work shows in the album’s many intricately layered songs. Two central threads of Laner’s long career have been juxtaposition and electronic exploration, and both are prominent compositional tools here. Laner loves to layer his voice over and over, creating big, pillowy textures out of it, which he then sets against all manner of contrasting and complementary sounds, from sharply buzzing synthesizer and crackling drums to fuzzed-out psychedelic riffs and loopy dabs of keyboard.”