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Fog | Ether Teeth (Ninja Tune)
The more rounded, more fully realised, second album by 24-year-old Minneapolis resident Andrew Broder, 'Either Teeth' is a bizarre cross-pollination of both style and substance. Trading under the near-perfect name for his misty musical muse, Fog is the most eclectic artist on Ninja Tune, themselves one of Britain's most diverse labels. Mixing the roles of troubadour and turntablist like few others, Fog combines the magpie mentality and homemade song-writing skills of a young Lou Barlow with a naive understanding of leftfield electronica. And much more besides. He slips all manner of peculiar rumblings randomly into his mysterious melting pot, picking up the pace and then firmly slamming it down at the most apparently inopportune moments.
At his best, Broder is a lovelorn Tom Waits surrounded by wayward scratches and cracked samples; he's a downbeat Beck on a hastily arranged day-tripper with DJ Shadow. One moment he's scoring gorgeous ambient passages such as opener Plum Dumb, the next soundtracking tear-stained dejection on See It? See It? before lumbering into the faltering hip-hop of No Boys Allowed. Fog is the most disorientating artist this side of Mark Linkous, especially when his Anticon-inspired sensibilities combine with ex-Low producer Tom Herbers' means with melancholy. Junkstore rock performed through the walls of the most peculiar disco known to man, Fog is a bewildering but bewitching vision to become wrapped up in.
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003