08 March 2016

Cranj Randy's Shandy Box, Detloff

When drifting off into a day dream your thoughts become increasingly less concrete and more fluid. The valve is released on your stream of consciousness, and you find yourself drifting along it’s ephemeral bank. Detloff’s album Cranj Randy’s Shandy Box, is the auditory equivalent  of that state when you’re just barely awake enough to know you’re asleep. Ten tracks of sublime experimental ambiences gradually plod along leaving an imprint on the listener that is trepidatious, intoxicating, and vaguely nostalgic.

The synthesizer work on this album is wonderfully diverse and textured; and the use of guitar, bass, and trumpet serves as a grounding counterpoint to the otherwise otherworldly  soundscapes. There are also many tracks on here that really groove. Take for example the lumbering bass and lo-fi drums of the opening track “Now&Later”; the perfect psychedelic dance anthem for a sluggish sleep deprived delirium. 

Other highlights include the ghostly trumpet swells and synthesizer melancholia of “Shandy Box”, which conjures visions of lonesome puddle drenched alleyways on a dreary night. This sensation of isolation and anxiousness is pervasive throughout the album; Detloff  takes you to a dream world where danger is never seen, but feels as if it’s hiding beneath every stone. One of the few respites from this is my favorite track, “Hyper Cube”. With it’s shimmering, reassuring tone and whimsical melody, it sounds like part of a soundtrack for a retro video game.

Cranj Randy’s Shandy Box is a fantastic auditory adventure that leads you on a meandering hour long trail of dreamscapes. It is available on their bandcamp page as a free download and for purchase on cassette which has some lovely floral album art. I highly recommend you buy a copy, pop on some headphones, and open up the shandy box.  

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