The Greece-born, Milan-based composer Panagiotis Melidi has cited the music of the Mediterranean coast, records his parents played when he was a child, and the kind of soundtracks found in secondhand-store dustbins as influences and, as Larry Gus, he brings all of this together in dense grooves reminiscent as much of the Avalanches as Panda Bear. On his second album for DFA, Years Not Living, Gus welcomes you to live in his memory of sounds.
He continues to experiment with the structure of his sampled environment, while prominently featuring his own vocals: On “The Night Patrols (A Man Asleep)” Gus explores the ambience of dimly-lit lounge music and what sounds like orchestral scores of campy British horror films of the ’60s before shifting gears into a pulsing rhythm, re-introducing sounds in warped staccato hits and washed-in phaser effects and reverb. Bradford Cox lends vocals to the track alongside Gus’s, breathy, indecipherable lyrics.
Gus also explores a wider rhythmic vocabulary, and Years Not Living‘s most interesting moments come when Gus digs several percussive ideas out of the sonic rubble and develops a molasses-thick texture with them, as on tracks like “The Percival Seascapes,” and “Pericles.” The ebb and flow of the record changes pace, mood and texture at will; melodies hook you in and quickly disappear, and through Gus’s refracted lens, music otherwise lost to time is reclaimed for one last spin.