Review of Shoals [12k1060]

Playground (.NET)

Since some time ago we’ve been able to see a substantial change in the aesthetic of Taylor Deupree, not so much because of how he is in himself but because of the kind of releases he’s been putting out on his 12k imprint: each time more elaborate, ambient and with a glitch aesthetic serving pop –and it comes from far, from Sawako and company. But he refuses to enter in some kind of light flow, highly efficiently releasing records with a dark twist like Northern, which invaded the territory of Tim Hecker –sharp drones with a snow-like texture. But Shoals seems to be a full-blown pull-back, as if Deupree finally decided to become even softer than the artists he signs, from Pjusk to Giuseppe Ielasi. Deupree wants to be more because Shoals is a record a-typically soft in his career: it’s cinematic and poetic –a bit like Solo Andata– and he adds gamelan harmonies to the background, an ethnic quote Deupree had never before made and nobody knows why he’s doing it now. To add to the confusion, the limited edition includes a 7” (“Shoals Edition”) and there is also a download available Snow (Dusk, Dawn), another piece of 16 minutes confirming that the New Yorker’s desire to put music to the maximum feeling of weightlessness. It sounds good, but the dangerous or cold subtext from before is sorely missed.

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