Eluvium - Talk Amongst The Trees
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Eluvium
Talk Amongst The Trees

Matthew Cooper (aka Eluvium) has released one album per year now for the past three years, and they don't always fall into a neat cubbyhole. His first album Lambent Material showed a couple very strong cards in terms of ambient electronic music, while his follow-up of Accidental Memory In Case Of Death moved in completely different directions as a short release of improvisational piano pieces that was hit or miss in terms of quality but still managed to show something new from the young artist.

Talk Amongst The Trees moves back in the direction of the first release from Cooper, and in terms of overall flow and composition it's light-years beyond his first release. With eight tracks that run almost an hour in length, it's also much more grand in scope, and while some pieces probably run a smidge long, the overall effect of the album is lovely. The album opens with the soft haze of "New Animals From The Air" as delayed guitar loops drift over warm washes of sound for almost twelve minutes. "Show Us Our Homes" again feels right at home on a bed of clouds as wafts of backwards guitar and rounded-off feedback form a semi-transparent fog of sound.

The middle section of the album is easily the strongest, and it's because of tracks like "Everything To Come," in which the soft squalls of feedback seem to mingle with each other in just the right ways while the almost seventeen-minute epic of "Taken" induces trancelike behavior with its simple but highly effective guitar arpeggio that seems to climb and climb without ever really going anywhere. The beauty of the latter track is one of simplicity, but the suggested movement of the track (through subtle builds in the background layers of the track) is what keeps the listener involved.

While most tracks on the release are content to drift and wander through different variations on the same sorts of fuzzy, flickering themes, it's also a comforting release that works so well because it doesn't break out of the hypnotic spell that it sets for itself from the beginning. While Lambent Material had a couple amazing tracks, it was also somewhat inconsistent in terms of overall sonics and how it progressed. This newest release doesn't have that problem at all, as it continues through the same, slightly blurry realm during the entire running length of the album. There aren't a lot of surprises, but there aren't any letdowns either. If you like your ambient music shimmering, this is the album for you.

rating: 7.510
Aaron Coleman 2005-03-03 00:00:00