Mark Wohlgemuth has been releasing albums under the Kram Ran name for many years now, long before this whole Alpha Couple thing came about. And now, signed to Steak Au Zoo Records, with his album The Idiot Prince, it seems like Kram Ran’s balance between noise and fine art is finally coming to a head. Opener “Prepare to Qualify” (the title being a reference to a Clint Enns video/installation of the same name that is about the self-conscious nature of making art and being validated) starts with a simple enough acoustic guitar strum and delayed static, but quickly launches into some straight-up HNW shit, and pulls back into a mélange of sound clips. Or there’s the beat of “(Disclaimer),” which is driven by a drum machine and what seems like white noise sequenced on and off, to an almost R & B vibe. No doubt that Wohlgemuth has packed this release full of references that could be pulled apart and identified for years, but even on the surface, he’s made something noisy yet enjoyable. (Xiu Xiu is the first and easiest comparison that comes to mind). But The Idiot Prince is in it for the long haul. (Kram Ran for the Polaris!) Check him out this fall, on an album release tour, when he’ll definitely be returning to Winnipeg, his home town. (Steak Au Zoo, steakauzoorecords.com) Taylor Burgess
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