Any group deciding to make a foray into the realm of instrumental post-rock has to know that they’re going into what’s essentially a saturated market, one in which it will be very difficult to differentiate themselves from the countless Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor! clones who beat them there.
However, San Francisco’s Carta do stick out from the crowd. But unlike many of their peers, they abstain, for the most part, from the usual clichés and standards of the genre. That is to say, you won’t find too many slowburning build-ups in which guitars churn and string arrangements slowly move towards critical mass until the entire band erupts in an apocalyptic climax. Something which, quite frankly, has been played out quite a bit over the past few years.
Rather, like acts such as Unwed Sailor, Windsor For The Derby, and Early Day Miners, Carta take a much more subdued direction. The focus here isn’t on sturm und drang, or trying to overwhelm the listener with one grandiose arrangement after another. Instead, the nine musicians who make up Carta (on this release, anyways) focus instead on simply crafting strong, intricately layered songs that are just that—songs, and not merely epic-length, multi-movement compositions.