Blending folk music with electronics and a vibe like sunshine pouring raisins down on you from the heavens, San Francisco’s The Alps are America’s premiere morning musicians. Put on something like “Spray,” from their latest full-length Easy Action, into your wake-up routine, daylight peeking out over the trees and buildings, an abundance of noise and effects co-existing around stern acoustic folk guitar melodies. Traditions smashing against one another like metaphysical Japanese monsters to make room for more skies and visible horizons in your life. Featuring Alexis Georgeopolous (Arp), Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (Tarantel) and Scott Hewicker (Troll), the Alps make music that is made to move the mountains in your mind, and help you to take some time for yourself, out of focus from the rest of the world, and think about what you can do today to make the world better.
Originally released in 2008 by Type (UK), “III” was, in fact, The Alps’ third release – the first two being CDR releases for the Root Strata and Digitalis labels – but represented the group’s first proper studio recording.
At turns luminous, at others cavernous, “III” is a beatific collision of sounds and influences that show the group, like castaways on some hazy archipelago, weaving a musical brocade that is richly evocative, deeply imagistic and from another place. “III” is psychedelic mind music as suited to contemplating the void as it is for dreaming up distant, otherworldly journeys. It is music with far-off places in mind, suggestive of a transnational Paul Bowles epic.
“Occasionally, we get an album that perfectly meshes with our deadline-induced delirium Lately, that album has been The Alps “III”, which we tend to listen to for hours on end without realizing it has been the same 45 minutes repeated.” – THE FADER