All of your favorites, in one place.
"Rangers is Joe Knight. Suburban Tours is his debut vinyl release after a string of popular cassette albums in 2009 - including Low Cut Fades on Not Not Fun. His sound has been referred to out in blogland as 'elevator psyche' and 'mirrorball funknagogic pop' - and that's not a bad start considering his music is often bass-driven with washes of synth and prog-psych guitar riding over the top. Unlike the extended side-long collages of his cassette releases, Suburban Tours is a collection of eleven concise 'pop' songs that were written and recorded after moving to San Francisco from his native Texas. Not knowing anyone in this new locale, he describes the period after the move as being extremely lonely and plagued with near-constant rainfall. So he holed up and focused his attentions on recording a batch of songs that reflected on his suburban upbringing outside of Dallas and what he calls the 'failed connections with nature' that exist in these suburban zones (fake lighting, cranked-up air conditioning, golf courses, and gated 'communities' where everyone keeps to themselves). But despite the loneliness and melancholic themes there is a remarkable amount of color to his music. Like it's the sound of what he'd want to have playing on his headphones while riding a bike through these neighborhoods -- the sound necessary to make these places seem lively and fun. Music blog Visitation Rites hits the nail on the head when saying 'his music reflects a parallel fixation with the tape reel as a cutting board for the psychic trappings of middle class American youth.' Rangers is drawing from an entirely different set of musical influences than the rest of his peers - combining a passion for Manchester's Northern Soul sound with early '80s rock radio staples like Rush and The Police and the '70s prog-fusion of Weather Report. Plus he's got the chops to pull off this unlikely union -- in fact the cutting engineer for Suburban Tours was utterly baffled and commented that it sounded to him like a lost Steely Dan session recorded onto a mangled microcassette tape. That's a good thing, right? Full color pro-printed covers and insert - also includes a download coupon for the mp3 version."
THE WIRE'S BEST OF 2010:
"Rocking like a long-lost Cherry Red outfit from 1983 and muffled like a cheaply-pressed flexidisc, Joe Knight and co’s itchy melodies, portamento synths and flanged guitar swirl encapsulated the year’s Hypnagogic mood perfectly. We said: “This LP is one of the more satisfying recent attempts to traverse the forbidden zone of 1980s mainstream pop… a deleted scene from a parallel dimension, perhaps.” (May/315)"