Advice from Midnight Sound Services: How to Tame a Hedonist 

Years ago, the drummer in a band I used to play in brought over his homemade “Dreamachine,” a low-budget stroboscopic “flicker device” that can induce a sort of hypnogogic state. The drummer had cut oblong shapes into a piece of reflective cardboard, which he then folded and sat atop a turntable. We started up the turntable, dangled a lamp into the Dreamachine, and turned on the Into the Deep, WEVL’s long-running ambient electronica program. No illicit substances were involved, but the Dreamachine and Into the Deep were enough. I felt high as two kites.

click to enlarge a Dreamachine
  • a Dreamachine
Why, one might wonder, am I talking about a particularly diverting half-hour I spent staring at an alternating pattern of light through cardboard and listening to ethereal beats? Because that exact sensation, one I remember so vividly even years later, is precisely the feeling I get when I listen to Midnight Sound Service’s new release, How to Tame a Hedonist.

click to enlarge Colin Wilson (left) and Aaron Rude
  • Colin Wilson (left) and Aaron Rude
Midnight Sound Service is the electronic music vehicle of Memphian Aaron Rude, with help from contributor Colin Wilson, who engineered and mixed How to Tame a Hedonist. Locals might recognize the group from nights at The Beauty Shop — or from MSS’ previous three releases. Whether How to Tame a Hedonist is a familiar return or the listener’s first exposure to MSS, it’s sure to be an enjoyable ride.
click to enlarge How to Tame a Hedonist
  • How to Tame a Hedonist
With How to Tame a Hedonist, Rude lets the listener cruise along, propelled by good beats, but not in too much of a hurry to enjoy the scenery. There are burbles and volume swells aplenty, and “Your Image in Quartz,” the sixth track, takes its time getting going, but the album never falters. Nor is any song a slave to the beat, as some lo-fi electronica is, paying total attention to the crack! of the snare drum, to the detriment of other elements.

For fans of the genre — or anyone who enjoys dystopian sci-fi films and their soundtracks — How to Tame a Hedonist should tick all the right boxes. Even if it never really does get around to answering the age-old question: How do you tame a hedonist? 

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