If you’ve never been able to get over the sound of the drums on “Charlotte Sometimes”, welcome brothers and sisters, we’ve been saving a seat for you. A Different Arrangement is the 2012 debut LP from New York coldwave reanimators Black Marble, then a duo comprised of Chris Stewart and Ty Kube but since reduced to a Stewart solo project. The band’s first album marries the instant accessibility of classic New Order singles with the icy austerity of some band reissued by Minimal Wave you’ve never heard of, brimming with catchy picked bass, discordant synths and husky vocals. Opener “Cruel Summer” gets straight to the point with what remains the band’s finest ever bassline and one of Stewart’s catchiest hooks. The robotic coldwave of “UK,” “Safe Minds” and “Limitations” are enough to turn you to stone, but occasional moments of warmth ooze through the cold steel framework: “A Great Design” and “MSQ No-Extra” hint at a sentimental cadence Stewart would later perfect on It’s Immaterial. To think you’ve been wasting your time listening to the Stranger Things soundtrack when this record’s been under your nose for the better part of a decade. Recommended.
➸ BONUS: Read our Q+A with Black Marble's Chris Stewart from 2019
- black vinyl pressing
- digital download included
- music label: Hardly Art 2012
reviewed by KY Tube 11/2020