Review of Somi [12k1087]

Exclaim (CA)

A good number of fans first became acquainted with electronic music heavyweight Taylor Deupree in 2006, with the release of his lush, static-filled remix of David Sylvian’s “World Citizen,” but those with their ears a bit closer to the ground at the time knew him to be an accomplished artist already, with more than a decade of solid ambient compositions under his belt.

Deupree is fond of the phrase “microscopic-sound music” to describe his work, and Somi is certainly that. Leveraging a variety of acoustic and found sources — some more challenging to listen to than others — Deupree has built a soothing, gentle wall of looped minimalist sound, but it demands focused attention; only a close listen reveals its depth. Try to take in Somi during your morning commute and you’re likely to find it repetitive and unexciting.

In truth, it is neither. Rather than relying on computer-generated loops, Deupree built his by hand, lending the work a personal, intimate feel. There’s a gentle, melancholy white noise bed track under much of the album that may remind you of those lovely Sparklehorse records that came out around the turn of the century. Audiophiles who find that sort of thing annoyingly lo-fi are missing the point entirely.

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