Review of Somi [12k1087]

Sigil of Brass (.COM)

‘Somi’ is the new feature length release by Taylor Deupree. It follows 2014’s ‘Faint’ and was released on February 3rd, 2017. The release comes packaged as a compact disc inside a 20 page hard-bound book of photographs that inspired Deupree to make the music.

And … what music!

This is a very minimal work – but it is not drone. It has an air between the notation that allows the music to breathe. Itself, the music is comprised of Glockenspiel, electric piano, DX7 and a hand held cassette recorder. But is is loaded with emotion.

Sometimes sombre, always vague – there is an inherent melancholia to the recording. Deupree ori- ginally intended to make a follow up to his classic album, ‘Stil.’. Steeped in subtle repetition and very soft electronic sounds, ‘Stil.’ explored themes of timelessness and change. However, where ‘Stil.’ was created using purely electronic sounds (software synthesisers & looping algorithms). I be- lieve Deupree’s ambition was to bring ‘Stil.’ to a new level – to reinterpret the Micro-Sound of ‘Stil.’ with the methodology of how he works today.

With ‘Somi’, apparently Deupree does not use electronic means. Instead opting for the imperfect creation of ‘loops’ by hand. The result is warm, quietly decaying works that utilises sparse, discreet tones and dozens of inter-looped poly-rhythms – the repetitions, or ‘loops’, are constantly falling out of sync and then realigning. It is a very fragile, beautiful work.

While these ideas of phase relationships are not new in music, nor to Deupree’s back-catalogue of work, it is the way he approached to composition of the works that was different – this ‘new methodology’ would have been a lot more difficult to undertake than his past work.

Wrapped up warmly in the sonics of cassette players and cheap built in speakers, ‘Somi’s’ melodies sit quietly, but uneasily.

View Release