Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Deerhunter Blog Posts Ominous Castle's Cover Of "Cryptograms" (Plus New Atlas Sound MP3s)

Download: Deerhunter - "Cryptograms"
Download: Ominous Castle - "Cryptograms"
Download: Atlas Sound - "I'll Be Your Mirror"
Download: The Velvet Underground - "I'll Be Your Mirror"
Download: Lotus Plaza - "What Grows"
Download: Atlas Sound - "Walks Backwards"
Download: Atlas Sound - "Cobwebs"

Here's something which you don't necessarily see everyday: An artist posting a cover version of his original song on his very own blog. But that was the case yesterday with Deerhunter's Bradford Cox posting a cover of "Cryptograms", the title track of Atlanta-based quartet's full-length LP released at the beginning of the year, on the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound/Lotus Plaza Blog. Of the cover version, Cox said:
(The Ominous Circle)cover of Cryptograms' title track that in my opinion is far better than the original. Whoever made this please identify yourself and let use know where we can here more of your stuff...
and tell us what you used to record this cover. it sounds amazing.
you improved the vocals a LOT.

After having listened to both versions of "Cryptograms", the original definitely still has the upper hand on the cover. Ominous Castle's version is sounds like someone kidnapped Devo and forced them to record "Cryptograms" as the theme song for a daytime TV game show. It makes sense to bring out some of the new wave influence in Deerhunter's songs, which in turn could highlight any sort of humanism that's been previously hidden in Deerhunter's work. But, in trying to achieve that artistic goal, OC strips away many of the elements which made the original version so compelling. Namely, the dark, hypnotically robotic pulse which drives the song, Bradford Cox's forceful monotone vocals, and the incredibly lush guitars. You could certainly take those elements away and have a compelling version of the same song. However, Ominous Castle's version simply does not work because the band did not replace the original's merits with different ones.

Still, listening to both is absolutely recommended, because it shows what a world of difference something like instrumentation can make.

Listen to both versions of "Cryptograms" at the top of the post, in addition to recent Atlas Sound MP3s, (which includes a cover of The Velvet Underground "I'll Be Your Mirror. We've also gone ahead and posted the original of that one) as well as an Lotus Plaza MP3.

Read the original post here.

Deerhunter MySpace Page
Ominous Castle MySpace Page (maybe)
Deerhunter Blog

(Jonathan Graef)

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