sam prekop – self-titled

this album, and i find pretty much anything with sam prekop’s name on it, sounds like you’re at a 1960s suburban beach where women are wearing ‘modest’ bikinis, men are wearing long swimming trunks and everyone’s hair is perfectly coifed. it’s not always summer, and perhaps that’s where the relatively minimal variation comes in – a difference of seasons in his music. it’s hard to get away from how samey it all sounds.

on this release, he does vary his voice as much as i think is physically possible. listen to any sea and cake record and then listen to on such favors here. it’s one of the only songs wherein you might not actually be able to tell that it’s him singing. the most beautiful song is a cloud to the back which is purely instrumental. repetitive in its way, but comforting. there are some other interesting lyric-less pieces here, such as the quirky and perfectly long electronic faces and people.

performers on the album, which was released at the height of his powers in 1999, include josh abrams who has worked with will oldham and godspeed you! black emperor, chad taylor who has worked with jeff parker (tortoise, vandermark) and jim o’rourke who has worked with pretty much everyone. of course, archer prewitt is there as well – and i have to make an admission that i actually prefer his solo work to sam’s.

this seemed to be a unique set of circumstances all centring around chicago in the 1990s. the dread-named post-rock era that introduced me to a hatred of labels and categories, along with the abysmal alt-country movement of analysis that ran in parallel. just write about the music itself dick heads, not some artificial category you think you can group a heap of disparate or perhaps remotely connected bands into for ease of reference.

hmm, rant over, my sister really latched onto the work of sea and cake, and it’s about the only music she listens to these days. i didn’t get there in the end, but i see where it was going. i went some other directions with those chicagoans.


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