Stargaze & Greg Saunier – Deerhoof Chamber Variations

Album Review by Will Fitzpatrick | 25 Nov 2015
Album title: Deerhoof Chamber Variations
Artist: Stargaze & Greg Saunier
Label: Transgressive
Release date: 4 Dec

As though Greg Saunier wasn’t busy enough with his various bands, improv exercises, production projects et al, he drops this nifty piece of work. Working with André de Ridder’s stargaze ensemble (their absence of capitalisation, honest), the Deerhoof polymath has re-composed some of his band’s work as neo-classical sketches, and the effects are dazzling.

It’s initially difficult to see what the these lush re-imaginings have to do with the 'Hoof's playful experimento-pop, but it soon becomes apparent that this is about recontextualisation above all. As such, stuttering pianos and stabs of violin lend a new sense of danger to Rainbow Silhouette Of The Milky Rain, while two voices alternate syllables on Data’s refrain of ‘Nothing you can do can stop me falling,’ before soaring, soft yet celestial, caressing the ears like sweet, warm breaths. In fact, it’s best to put memories of the originals to one side; these beautiful arrangements survive just fine under their own steam. [Will Fitzpatrick]