underground airline

—Small Devices—

Posted in music by Britt Melewski on May 31, 2011

In the dungeon-y basement of New York City’s Lit Lounge Small Devices’ “Snowflakes” proves that music can demonstrate the behavior of fire: it’s unpredictable reach; it’s churning rhythm, a movement of its own: Delay. Power. Unadorned music risking itself with its austerity.

courtesy of Small Devices' myspace pg.













An unblemished strength of Small Devices exists in their arrangements.  The drums are clear; keys—in their 80s-ish wind—perform their own bending dance.  Guitarists interview as potential hospitable whips for a deep-coma patient’s awakening.

The space in the song where most other bands would clutter it with a bunch of shit, Small Devices lets each instrument breathe, each note ring and react to hearing itself in the monitor.  They let the hums be hums, lights be light, and cetera be c.

Small Devices might be in it’s earliest germ stage, but they have a microbiologic effect that, in all it’s smallness, coolly breaks away from the reproduction of former models.  Yes, there might be the To Record Water drum-gun of J. Frusciante, the late-night buzz-crawl spaciness of Boards of Canada, the howl of confident guitar feedback.  But, as one band members gibes, “we’re not fucking Blond Redhead, okay?”  And I agree: they are, literally, not Blond Redhead, they’re Small Devices, goddamn it.

It’s rare that a song becomes an apparatus for ethereal travel—when you’re transported, flown somewhere unfamiliar and dropped with the beat as some distant, foreign, conveyor.

In times like these I break out the pen, write on my skin: remember this band; remember Small Devices.


links to websites with songs:



a youtubule  link to a performance of “snowflakes”:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-OwbqPzc0U


Small Devices is a Brooklyn; watch out for a live show near you.

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