Release Date: May 4, 2018
Record label: Mute
A lot of support slots at gigs may fade away without really being remembered but when Daniel Blumberg supported Lambchop at the Barbican back in 2015 it was different. Having recently quit his previous band Yuck the overriding impression was of an artist embarking on a bold change of direction. Fast forward three years and Minus is the end result. The fact that his debut album opens with a song that bears resemblance to 1970s American folk-rock, straightforwardly played out on piano and wispy cello, therefore initially comes as a little surprise.
Listening to this elegant, organic record you’d never believe that it was made by the once-frontman of Myspace-era teen art-rock band Cajun Dance Party. Having also graduated from shoegazers Yuck among others, Daniel’s latest project is easily his most mature work. It might also be his best. Opener 'Minus' immediately establishes the textures and tones that categorise the album as a whole.
Any combination of 'serious music' signifiers would do to describe 'Minus'. 'Haunting', sure. 'Spectral'. Great. It all checks out. What such box-ticking would wholly fail to encapsulate, though, is the bravery it took Daniel Blumberg to complete a record at this moment in his life, let alone ….
Daniel Blumberg is a restless one. At 28, the London-based artist already has a string of lacklustre musical projects behind him, from the ill-fated Cajun Dance Party to 90s pastiche Yuck, to a series of more valiant but half-baked solo efforts as Oupa and Hebronix. More recently, Blumberg ventured into the world of free improvisation, taking up residence at Dalston's Cafe Oto where he worked on a number of experimental projects.