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Landing, "Brocade"

Landing's latest full length album is more of a single symphony than five separate tracks; Brocade is not a song-based album but one long continuous work. The music unwinds at a leisurely pace and is best appreciated all in one sitting.


Strange Attractors

Brocade is largely instrumental (only "How to be Clean" has any vocals) and is bathed in analog synthesizers with lots of guitar effects. There's an unmistakable '70s prog rock sound going on and the pure synths on "Music for Three Synthesizers" are very '80s sounding to me, but Landing keeps it modern and fresh, without playing like they're simply digging up old rock corpses. The music is hypnotic, repetitive, and layered, but by no means dull or heavy.


Despite the building layers it has a very open and spacious feel, a feel which is reinforced by titles like "Loft" and "Yon," bringing up images of empty skies and vast distances (echoed as well in the rather barren landscape on the album's cover). "Spiral Arms" is similarly well-named; if you could put a galaxy into sound, it might just sound like this. The static buzz carried over from "Yon" gives way to delicate acoustic guitar and electronic swoops and blowing winds. "How to be Clean" is a rocker and adds enough movement and energy to the mix to keep this guitar-rock girl happy.

I found it difficult to listen to Brocade at work; in addition to the usual cube farm noise and coworker interruptions, Winamp's pauses between tracks made the transitions jarring, most notably between "Yon" and "Spiral Arms" and between "Spiral Arms" and "How to be Clean." This is one to listen to at home with a glass of wine in a darkened room or on a long lonely car trip, and it's certainly not one for the iPod Shuffle.

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

The New Year

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Review of the Day

loscil, "Triple Point"
There's a lot of electronic music out there that either plain bores or annoys the absolute piss out of me. So much of it sounds the same, and what it sounds like is something so pedestrian that it was all created using standard ACID loop libraries. That's why it's so refreshing when something like loscil comes around. "Triple Point" is a fantastic release just based upon the rather unique palette of sounds here. But there's so much more going on in the mix. Sampled sounds so buried you really only hear them faintly, and treated keyboards that sound hollow and distant have such an eerie effect. Each track starts of easy enough, but builds to amazing heights as more sounds are added and volume increases. Scott Morgan, who is loscil, has an amazing ear, as these songs are dense and droned-out but you never lose sense of this music and Morgan never lets you stray from the path long. "Triple Point" is reportedly based on the concepts of thermodynamics, and that couldn't be a more appropriate analogy for the effect this music has on the listener. It soothes, it relaxes, it resonates with a warmth that almost defies description, and it propels you in the same instant, willing you to create or submit to its will. Never has an artist's debut on a label impressed me more. loscil has obviously just begun, and there's great promise for the future.

 

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