Review of Faint [12k1073]

Brainwashed (US)

Winter is the most fitting season for Deupree’s music, a distinctive blend of cold, sparse spaces mixed with warm, melodic passages. <i>Faint</i> is no different, an album consisting of five long pieces that capture the stillness of nature, the coldness of electronics, and the warmth of organic instrumentation.

The two opening pieces, “Negative Snow” and “Dreams of Stairs,” put an extra emphasis on the sometimes hidden but always gorgeous melodic elements of Deupree’s sound. “Negative Snow” initially hides amongst what sounds like a slowly rushing river and small, delicate noise fragments that twitter about. Eventually an organic, almost breathing melody comes out of the abstraction, adding a human warmth to an otherwise cold piece.

Taylor employs some unidentifiable clattering object as a textural element on “Dreams of Stairs,” is mixed with insinuated guitar and fragile xylophone like tones. There is a sense of spaciousness that pervades, even as it builds up to a slightly more forceful conclusion, but for the most part it comes across like a warm, misty morning.

“Thaw” and “Sundown” instead choose to showcase the textures rather than the melodies. The former is a slowly expanding wall of sound that is more static and drifting than the sounds Deupree usually works with, resulting in a meditative, frozen piece of music. “Sundown” opens with a droning, organ like passage that again channels a vast expanse, aided by quiet, crackling textures that stay very minimal throughout. Infinitely stretching tones rise and fall at differing intervals, but help close the otherwise sparse piece in a dramatic swell of sound.

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