Giving Machines

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
The name of Giving Machines' final track is "In Memory of Honey," and it's a perfectly poetic description of Japancakes' sound: nostalgic, slow-flowing, and intensely sweet. In Japancakes' world, it's usually warm and nearly always sunset, with amber-hued melodies stretching out over the horizon. Giving Machines offers more of Japancakes' unabashedly pretty, pedal steel-driven twilight instrumentals they really should consider writing a song called "Friscalating Dusklight", and as usual, it's equally satisfying to let their beauty wash over you, or trace the songs' changes as they roll along. The album opens with the gradual slopes and arcs of "Doublejointed," which ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
The name of Giving Machines' final track is "In Memory of Honey," and it's a perfectly poetic description of Japancakes' sound: nostalgic, slow-flowing, and intensely sweet. In Japancakes' world, it's usually warm and nearly always sunset, with amber-hued melodies stretching out over the horizon. Giving Machines offers more of Japancakes' unabashedly pretty, pedal steel-driven twilight instrumentals they really should consider writing a song called "Friscalating Dusklight", and as usual, it's equally satisfying to let their beauty wash over you, or trace the songs' changes as they roll along. The album opens with the gradual slopes and arcs of "Doublejointed," which swings from flute-like synths to lush strings to that syrupy pedal steel so gracefully that it never drags once during its seven minutes. It's followed by "Lalita," a beautifully developed mood study that isn't as epic as what came before, but shows just how masterfully Japancakes use depth in their music, whether it's on a grand or intimate scale. A handful of Giving Machines' songs feel meandering instead of hypnotic, such as the slow-motion psychedelia of "Somersault," though its dramatic climax saves it from being aural wallpaper at the very last moment. While this album isn't quite as adventurous as some of Japancakes' previous work, it does have some impressive moments, especially toward the end. "Tracing New Maps" chucks conventional musical geography aside, pairing a lilting string melody from the Far East with a tick-tocking bassline and drawling pedal steel from the Wild West; "Recovering Australia" manages to be balmy, languid, and somber all at once. Japancakes' playful side also gets its due on their cover of the Cocteau Twins' "Heaven or Las Vegas," which gives the dream pop classic a bit of a twang and a wink without getting too cutesy. Making music this distinctively serene -- while avoiding boredom -- is no small feat. Though Japancakes rarely change their approach much from album to album, it's hard to fault them for not attempting to fix what isn't broken on Giving Machines.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/2/2007
  • Label: Darla Records
  • UPC: 708527018521
  • Catalog Number: 185
  • Sales rank: 163,479

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Double Jointed (7:10)
  2. 2 Lalita (4:32)
  3. 3 Heaven or Las Vegas (4:49)
  4. 4 Somersault (5:59)
  5. 5 The Enabler (1:57)
  6. 6 Recovering Australia (5:22)
  7. 7 Tracing New Maps (6:05)
  8. 8 In Memory of Honey (6:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Japancakes Primary Artist
John Neff Group Member
Nick Bielli Group Member
Andy Baker Group Member
Eric Berg Group Member
Neil Golden Track Performer
T.J. Young Track Performer
Technical Credits
Cocteau Twins Composer
Japancakes Composer
Ryan Berg Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    wonderful background music

    Surprisingly relaxing and great background music. I recommend this disc if you want uplifting ambiance.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews