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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Eluvium
Talk Amongst The Trees
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Rating: 8/10 ?


February 21, 2005
Being a somewhat enterprising young individual, I often bounce new ideas about the confines of my creative imagination. One such idea leaves me believing that I may have discovered a niche.

It would celebrate the inevitable redundancy of drums and set rhythms, which, as I see it, deliberately seek to restrict the freeness of music. The idea would take form as a club, regular night, bar, squat, or a venue of that ilk, where people would no longer be bound by the strict regularities of pulsing rhythms or break-beats and would find solace in uncontrolled, flowing music, to which expression would have no limits.

With varying levels of intensity, the music would slow down, speed up, climax, diminish, swirl, swish - potentially offering the highest form of ecstasy imaginable. It would represent a notion of the future - a soundtrack to limitless creativity, embracing free movement - a form of romantic chaos if you like. It could be called 0bpm Or (((((0bpm - that would attract the cool kids.

Potential artists that immediately spring to mind are Fennesz, Stars of the Lid, Brian Eno, selected Aphex Twin recordings and Eluvium.

Eluvium, the project of Matthew Cooper, has established its presence in the contemporary electronica setting with Talk Amongst the Trees, which effortlessly picks up where Lambent Material, Cooper's 2003 release, departs.

Cooper appears to have mastered his tools, building loosely-structured pieces from guitar loops, synthesisers, feedback clips and field recordings that drift in and out of sync. Like all good ambient records, Talk Amongst the Trees reveals its quality when perceived in its entirely - only then can its subtle transitions be observed in full.

"New Animals from the Air", the record's opener, emerges immediately as a series of guitar loops that are counter-balanced by loosely surging and subsiding swells, eventually drifting into "Show Us Our Homes" - a sparse construction of nocturnal hums and mumbled strings. The album's highlight, "Everything to Come" embeds its charm in its own honesty; a semi-conscious whisper, trapped between its past and its destiny. Cooper creates an atmosphere that is warm and comforting, demonstrating the beauty that can emerge when simple passages of sound are textured and harmonised. His works rely on repetitive soundscapes that, although consist of slow-brooding melodies, could not be dismantled and defined as 'tunes'.

Of course, Talk Amongst the Trees is contextual. It requires patience and serenity, and does not punish lapses in concentration. It barely drifts from its set-path, and thus is constrained by a form of site-specificity. Matthew Cooper has produced an album of seamless beauty that, when confined to moments of fading concentration or subtle reflection, presents itself as a more-than-fitting soundtrack. That is, unless my original idea is not as deluded as further consideration leaves me believing. Who am I kidding?

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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