Cul de Sac

Death of the Sun

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Cul de Sac's first full studio album proper in a number of years grew out of a number of changes and new approaches the various bandmembers wanted to pursue. The extensive liner notes cover everything from Glenn Jones' work in tracking down an obscure Creole song to Robin Amos' description of the recruitment and incorporation of Jake Trussell into the full-time lineup. Trussell's work with sampling and sequencing is his particular addition to the mix, and it can be heard in such winners as the title track, a mix of everything from heavily distorted guitar abuse to samples of sound sculptures and a throbbing core drum part. "Dust of Butterflies," the lengthy track that starts Death of the Sun, demonstrates the mix and match potentials beautifully, with Trussell chopping up a Germanic harmonic singing group for additional contributions. while the whole song has a strange, entrancing atmosphere of float. It's in the way the muffled flow of the backing textures sounds like both a loop and a looming summer shower, and how Jones' guitar provides gentle, crisp contrast even as the elegant, mournful arrangement blossoms into that of a full band. Jones himself gets a fine moment of source material glory with "Bellevue Bridge," drawing on field recordings done in the town where he grew up, his own shimmering electric guitar part making everything sound all the richer and more beautiful, with Jon Proudman's shift to sparkling cymbals and Trussell's toy piano the icing on the cake. Proudman gets a chance for a great drumming showcase with "Turok, Sun of Stone." Inspired, as he describes in the liner notes, by various drumming recordings from around the world, he creates a storming but never overwhelming roll of percussion propulsion, his bandmates adding low drones and restrained touches while guest singer Juliet Nelson adds wordless, echoed calls.

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