Dave Fischoff
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Winston Park , 7/10
The Ox And The Rainbow , 6.5/10
The Crawl (2006), 5/10

Dave Fischoff is a solitary Indiana musician who debuted with a the cassette Dave Fischoff (Secretely Canadian, 1998) and compositions like Dropped Microphone that bordered on musique concrete.

Winston Park (Secretely Canadian, 1998), too, can be related to abstract art. The "songs" are collages of found sounds, lo-fi pop melodies, and sparse arrangements, and, first and foremost, tape hiss. Thanks to his observations of daily life channeled via erudite lyrics and surreal imagery, whispered by a voice that runs the gamut from gentle whine to psycho growl, each song turns into a flow of consciousness, in which words and sounds magically blend, a stark, haunting mixture of psychoanalysis and poetry. Fischoff's music is akin to New Zealand's school of experimental bedroom rock (Peter Jefferies, Roy Montgomery). Fischoff's specialty is the elegiac, suburban, domestic vignette (Happy Birthday, Photo From A Car In Winter, First Sleep After The Riots), with occasional forays in the folk lullaby (Sallow) and a glorious take on the love ballad (For The Ones Who Fall In Love In Buses).

The eight-song The Ox And The Rainbow (Secretely Canadian, 2001) is a far more serious recording. Fischoff plays the more traditional songwriter and uses a drum machine. This album, closer to Robyn Hitchcock than New Zealand's lo-fi pop, is hardly related to the previous one. The cheap electronica of The Doctor Yawns For Columbus Day, the rhythmic oddity of Blemish and a Bowl of Oranges, the Bonzo Band-ian vaudeville Propaganda For A Comic Strip, the a cappella harmony of A Nap at Truthtime Some Magic Slips Away are possibly the most adventurous compositions. Fischoff's poetry is even more touching and often outstages the music. His "stories" have become even more surreal. Often, Fischoff focuses on the feelings, on the atmosphere, on the essence of things, and hardly sketches at all the plot. Some songs (How Things Move in the Wind) sound like fairy tales. When Fischoff taps into his romantic vein, the results are ecstatic (We Break Up and Watch the Angels Swim and especially Geranium, with the couplet "Our spoons are full of weather/ Our skin is in bloom").

Fischoff moved decisively towards orchestral pop on The Crawl (Secretly Canadian, 2006), inspired by Brian Wilson as well as Burt Bacharach. It hardly sounded like the same artist who penned the first two albums.

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