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Kaputt - Merge
FILTER Grade: 86%

By Jon Pruett on March 4, 2011



The last full-length outing to come from the art-rock camp of Destroyer was 2008’s Trouble in Dreams. There, Dan Bejar created a wasted rock-and-roll space akin to Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Wooden Ships,” but with lyrics delivered like Bowie on The Mount. A retooling has obviously occurred since then—his two 12” EP releases (Bay of Pigs and Archer on the Beach) wiped the slate clean with cold washes of minimal synths and whispery vocals. Which brings us to the new, Kaputt. Stripped of rockist stylings and striving for the atmosphere of late-period Roxy Music, Bejar’s so-not-cool-they-are-cool arrangements (almost all of which involve a muted saxophone, flute, or Minnie Riperton-esque vocal back-up) provide more than an outlet for his eccentric, often brilliant songwriting; they put him in the role of pied piper to the most eclectic dance floor in the world. It’s not an entirely new world for him—his earliest albums up until Your Blues tried to integrate minimalist electronics in ways that were far from typical. Kaputt’s allure fills up glasses with the finest Chablis in a Nagel print–filled room, and lets Bejar’s newfound status as King of Hi-Fi unfold in all of its cryptic finery.

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