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Chill-out - Released January 10, 2020 | felte

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 9, 2018 | felte

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While Public Memory's Robert Toher doesn't quite tear everything down and start over on Demolition, he does make space for new forms of expression on the project's second album. On Wuthering Drum, Toher pared down the dense sonics of his former groups Apse and ERAAS with hypnotic, insular results. This time, his moody electronic collages reach outwards: "The Line"'s ever-expanding electronics introduce the vast scope of Demolition's songs. As on 2017's Veil of Counsel EP, the album's increased clarity gives Toher ample room to play with space and tempos. While Wuthering Drum's linear grooves had a lulling allure, there's no denying that the way "Red Rainbow" shifts from a serpentine crawl to a race through a cavernous nightscape adds excitement to Public Memory's sound. Despite these changes, the otherworldly vibe Toher cultivated on his earlier releases remains intact. His gift for creating moods via decaying textures on songs like the gorgeously tattered "Falsetto" rivals Boards of Canada, another act fascinated by illusions of the past and nostalgia's seductive powers. Frequently, Demolition's harder-edged approach only makes Toher's vocals sound more unearthly, as on "Doorstep," where it feels like he's hovering just above a jittery beat. The album's claustrophobic moments are all the more striking compared to its spacious ones; "Redeemer" is swallowed by sorrow, while "Aegis" envelops listeners in a fog of synths. By the time Demolition closes on a surprisingly optimistic note with "Trick of the Light," it proves that Toher can give more focus -- and more hope -- to Public Memory's music without sacrificing any of its mystery. ~ Heather Phares
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Electronic/Dance - Released March 18, 2016 | felte

With his previous project ERAAS, Robert Toher's music often seemed caught between the post-rock of his first band, Apse, and something -- or somewhere -- harder to define and more interesting. Toher reaches that destination with Public Memory, a name that perfectly captures the almost subliminal, otherworldly-yet-familiar territory he's working in. Made with little more than a Korg MS-20, guitar, and field recordings, Wuthering Drum's pared-down instrumentation allows Toher the freedom to combine more diverse elements into an even more singular sound. While his influences are apparent -- a hint of Massive Attack here, a trace of Radiohead there, and an affinity with Clinic's transcendent grooves throughout -- he doesn't lean on them too heavily. Indeed, there's an ease to Wuthering Drum that ERAAS' music never had. Nothing ever feels forced, whether Toher meshes a looped windchime with the beat on "Heir" with equally spontaneous and lulling results, or gives "Zig Zag" a vaguely futuristic Middle Eastern cast. The watercolor delicacy with which he layers Wuthering Drum's sounds is even more impressive considering how dense his palette is on songs like the stunning "Ringleader," where he balances suffocating fuzz bass with sparkling piano and stark beats. On tracks such as this one and "As You Wish," where rubbery synths and shuddering rhythms convey a sense of spring-loaded momentum, Toher builds on ERAAS' impressionistic powers by misting away any hard edges. His voice is more spectral and fragile than ever, and on songs like "Domino," it has more emotional impact than ever before, even if it's harder to make out exactly what he's singing. This precise ambiguity makes Wuthering Drum's mood hard to place yet distinctive, teetering somewhere between ominous on "Mirror"'s witching hour rites and oddly serene on "Lunar," which has the emotional heft of a hard-won accomplishment. Paradoxically, Toher's music has become more powerful as he's made it more delicate, and Wuthering Drum is a compelling debut that casts a lingering spell. ~ Heather Phares
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Electronic/Dance - Released March 17, 2017 | felte

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 19, 2016 | felte

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Electronic/Dance - Released December 21, 2016 | felte

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Chill-out - Released December 13, 2019 | felte

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Chill-out - Released November 8, 2019 | felte

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