Crescent

Electronic Sound Constructions

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Not many album titles can be said to completely capture it just like that, but Constructions does the job. With only Matt Jones appearing on this album, playing everything from bass to reel-to-reel (and no guitar at all), Constructions might arguably be more a collection of home recordings that slipped out instead of a full album, but who can say? The end results are generally much more spare and mysterious than Crescent in full -- the closest connection at this point might be the work of Philosopher's Stone, only with the now-expected touches of murky recording and understatedly experimental production and musical touches. Opening track "Desert Rose" is especially fine, combining elements from dub and shadowy delivery with fine results, which in ways sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Jones knows when to add more intelligible parts to increase the unease -- thus the spoken word recitation on "There is No Matter," which appears to be a physics lecture but in context sounds almost threatening. The drums are often produced with a rough clatter and echo, while keyboards take over the lead melodies as and when they appear. Snippets from other songs (also in the dub tradition) surface as shading and material as well -- witness the beginning of "Oca Ola" -- but a flat-out dub tribute this isn't. It's Jones interested in creating mood with what tools he has to hand. There's the low, squalling sax and sudden effects burbles and stabs throughout "Sombra," the end shades of "Philicorda Loops (Excerpt)," named after the keyboard used to the create the sonics, and the overall sense of something that isn't melancholia so much as a strange inward reflection. Add to that the minimal black and white design style Crescent favors, and the result is another low-key winner.

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