The way thing are going the idea of art in its most basic form is going to end up as something that’s down to performance, passivity and entertainment. Some hate it; others believe that it’s commissioning should be purely left to market forces, as if populism has ever amounted mostly to anything other than a glazed, redundant and worthless spectacle.
Baltimorean trio Animal Collective have played in this space, a decade ago on their album Merriweather Post Pavillion, a release which shackled their gift for invention to a set of charming electric melodies. Since then they’ve returned to the margins and Tangerine Reef indicates that they’re perfectly comfortable with this place of habitation.
Originally a one-off performance which used an abstract musical canvas and visual tropes to focus on the Ocean’s fauna, AC have now decided to make it a statement of a different kind, releasing it’s subtopian swells to a largely disconnected planet. Lacking more than a little for the listener being unable to experience sights and sounds played together, Tangerine Reef is proof that art for art’s sake is still frequently better than no art at all.
You can read a full review here.