Loscil - Plume
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Since 2001, Scott Morgan (aka Loscil) has released one album per year, if you include his recent, download-only drone album. His first two albums were both structured around central themes, with Triple Point taking on concepts of thermodynamics, while Submers found him naming each track after a submarine (including a murky requiem for the ill-fated Kursk). On his recent First Narrows, he incorporated live instrumentation into the mix, and Plume is basically a continuation of the same sorts of sounds, styles, and production.

Getting down to the nuts and bolts of things, Loscil still nurses along clicky, sometimes scratchy programming that plays out over mercurial rhythms that sound like dub on narcotics. As with his last album, the live instrumentation additions don't act as real driving forces, instead adding subtle textures to the already very sly transitions. "Motoc" opens the disc and if you're not listening closely, you might be hard pressed to hear much happening. Building with soft electric pulses and small bits of static, the track peaks about halfway through with some warm filtered vibraphone and a cloud-like haze of hiss.

"Rorschach" blends the live improvisations into the mix better than perhaps any other track on the release, folding some soft rhodes piano tinkling over humming ripples of ebow guitar. It's not a coincidence that over half the songs on the album have names that reflect or play on (including "Chinook," "Mistral," and "Zephyr") the album title of Plume, as the nine song, sixty-two minute album may very well be the most billowy and disembodied sounding release from Loscil yet. The chromatic instrumentation of the vibraphone, rhodes, and ebow guitar only play into the weightless quality, and it's no surprise that like the recent Pan American album For Waiting, For Chasing, there's even a song ("Charlie") that's inspired by hearing/seeing a child through an ultrasound. Basically, if you enjoy Morgan's past work as Loscil, you're not going to go wrong here. By the time it's done, it's hard to remember a whole lot about it, as there simply aren't a whole lot of dynamics at play.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2006-06-01 21:43:58