“Atlas Sound;” those were the two words that Bradford Cox uttered into a homemade converted karaoke cassette machine when he was just in sixth grade. Since the genesis of its name in 1994, Atlas Sound has become the solo moniker and a representation of Deerhunter’s front man and provocateur, Bradford Cox.
Incidentally, Atlas Sound was also derived from the brand of tape player he used to make those initial experimental recordings. Even though the karaoke cassette recordings were Cox’s original materializations, it was not until 2008 that Atlas Sound’s first album, Let The Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel, was released.
Even from his humble beginnings as a budding artist, Cox was revolutionary and creative in his musical endeavors. Through reading a Beck interview, he discovered that he could utilize his family’s disused karaoke machine as a rudimentary multi- tracking device (the Beatle’s whirling Leslie speaker should be darned!).
However, it is these innovative recording processes that are central to his music and sound, and it colors the intimate feel of Atlas Sound in a more translucent manner. Then for the second Atlas Sound album, Logos, which arrived in 2009, there was more of a pop rooted sensibility present. Logos featured collaborations with Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox and Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadler and this was the album that progressed from intense introspection towards an ostentatious pop plateau, translating his sound and work into a more comprehensively engaging form.
To quote the musical blog 4AD, “Cox’s work as Atlas Sound represents a feral and prolific musical voice. With its scorched beauty, stream of consciousness, and wonderfully cohesive pop narrative, Atlas Sound is another outlet for Cox’s relentless creativity, distinctly remaining the product of just one man’s vision.” Now, Cox has six full- length releases as Atlas Sound: Let the Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel (2008), Logos (2009), and Bedroom Databank (2010), which is separated into four different albums.
Seeing that Cox’s song writing style is a musical stream- of- consciousness, it is especially evident in his latest album, Parallax, which was recently released on November 7th, 2011 (on CD, vinyl, and digitally). On this album, all of the songs were written and performed by Bradford, but he had a little help from his musician friends, Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT), Carrie- Anne Murphey, and Paul McPherson. According to the music blog 4AD, “all but two tracks on Parallax were recorded in June 2011 at New York’s Rare Book Room and were produced by both Bradford Cox and Nicolas Vernhes.” When listening to Atlas Sound, just let your mind go and freely allow it to flow.
Sources: 4AD and Wikipedia: http://4ad.com/artists/atlassound
Here are some Youtube videos that incorporate Atlas:
Atlas Sound w/ Noah Lennox- Walkabout:
Atlas Sound (on Parallax): “Terra Incognita”
Atlas Sound and Laetitia Sadier: Quick Canal
Atlas Sound- Quarantined