Tight bros from way back

Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt aren't just Deerhunter bandmates; they're also professed Best Friends Forever. "He's like my muse — my second half, my other half," Cox gushed to Pitchfork in an interview promoting Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel, his 2008 debut as Atlas Sound — which he dedicated to Pundt. Now The Floodlight Collective, Pundt's solo debut as Lotus Plaza, is dedicated to Cox. Isn't it bromantic? Despite how comfortably Pundt's tracks nestled alongside Cox's on 2008 Deerhunter double album Microcastle/Weird Era Continued, Lotus Plaza has a different feel. Deerhunter tunes are generally concise with occasional sunspot flashes of noise, while Atlas Sound tracks ride hypnotic sonic loops into the viscera- streaked red. Pundt walks a tightrope between these two extremes: His crisp arrangements almost melt into shoegazery; vocals are triple- or quadruple-tracked into wondrous abstractions where words are superfluous. Pundt employs a few sly tactics to keep the listener in the moment — and to set himself apart from his main gig. If you're zoning out on the comely four-note guitar motif in "Red Oak Way," there's a phalanx of percussive bric-a-brac to snap you into a fuller perspective: unevenly inserted drums, a metronomic click-track that runs slightly too quickly, what sounds like a repeated sample of crashing metal garbage cans that surfaces at the chorus. Surf-rock-lite drifter "Quicksand" layers on a snare-shuffle at the front of the mix; similarly, "Different Mirrors" — which churns like a circa-1995 Yo La Tengo B-side — has sleigh-bell drums, conspicuously, at the fore. Those drums are Cox's sole credited contribution to the album, but "Sunday Night" makes apparent the intimacy of his and Pundt's friendship. "Night" originally appeared on Blind as "Bite Marks," a neon-sign-on-the-fritz thermal blast; here, the flickering central melody is beset by arrhythmic triggered electronics, knotted vocal samples and surgical streaks of guitar feedback. Pundt's well on his way to building a mystery of his own — even as it occasionally references what his best friend is doing. [email protected]


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