Alexander Tucker: 'Veins To The Sky'

Alexander Tucker 300

Portal is Alexander Tucker's latest album. hide caption

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Alexander Tucker got his start in the early 1990s as a singer for the hardcore band Suction. Later he played synths in a space-rock group in Detroit. These days Tucker lives in the U.K. where he writes and records as a solo artist. He recently released his third album, Portal, through the London-based ATP Recordings. It's a rich mix of styles, featuring the finger-picking folk of Tucker's guitar, along with psychedelic rock, drones, detuned guitars, and sound loops.

The 8-song Portal opens with the hypnotizing "Poltergeists Grazing." Like much of the album, it features several dense layers of surprising instrumentation, with Tucker's spacey vocals. As a one-man band, Tucker experiments with loop pedals to achieve his perpetual sound live. But in the studio, and on Portal, he carefully takes the time to personally record the full extent of each layer, without the aid of looping equipment. It's the kind of craftsmanship that takes a lot of patience, but also leads to an organic, trippy wash of sound.

"Poltergeists Grazing" is followed by "Veins to the Sky," which features warm falsetto vocals and layers of electric mandolin, Tucker admits it was his attempt at creating a more linear song than he's used to, while still maintaining experimental elements. He succeeded, and "Veins in the Sky" makes a good introduction for those unaccustomed to a style like Tucker's. Given a chance, however, the wonderfully eerie "Omni-baron" and "Bell Jars" will also fascinate.

In addition to his music, Tucker is also a visual artist and has created artwork for each of his albums. He also contributes to the comic series Sturgeon White Moss.

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