Wind and Water
What a perfect name for an album. I'd heard of both Chris Watson and Clay Emerson, heard some of their work (ie, Codec Scovill)… and was glad to receive this CD for review hoping that I could gain some insight into a more solid collection of what they've put their efforts into more recently. I'm not disappointed. This is a beautifully strung together spider web / estuary / jet stream of noise and ambience. And I'm really serious, the album's name is absolutely perfect.
Replete with beats and electronic sounscaping to surround (what at least sounds to me like) real recordings from nature, some of them reversed, this album is like a satellite travel over the earth… recording the mood, temperature, and activity across the entire biological scene. The songs build up, crumble into pieces, float back together like a stream meeting a river that floats into an ocean… or maybe more like a flattened desert sand that blows into a high dune and then is blown back down… I don't know exactly how to describe it, but it's something to the effect of the soundtrack to the natural order of things. Like the music that should be playing when a scientist finally discovers that 'theory of everything' or when someone for the first time feels really pulled together and ready to accept that everything constantly changes.
Of course, now I'm making this CD sound like some corny 'nature sounds' CD you buy to relax yourself while you read a self-help book and that's not what it is at all. After all, it's electronic music and there's plenty of completely unnatural sounds and collections of noise in here to say the exact opposite, but it's just the tone I guess that makes it feel this way to me and is my best way of explaining it.
When the first Loess release came out it wasn't that I was unimpressed as much as I wasn't really moved, and this I guess feels much more real and more about something specific. It's like watching things stand still, or lapse over time and just seeing how everything is for what it is. It's a really beautiful effort. For those looking for a more static explanation of what to expect here, this is way more ambient than what they were doing around 2002, in fact a lot more reminiscent of the Codec Scovill stuff, melancholy, unpretentious, and sleepy.
- Amanda Spadaccini | 2006-06-16
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