Cerberus Shoal

Permanence + Elements of Structure

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Consisting of two long pieces meant as soundtracks for short films by one Tim Folland, this release marked the turning point for the group in that it was actually a collaboration between the 1997-era band and Tarpigh, most of whose members would later join the other band on a full-time basis. Both pieces were recorded on the same day while actually watching the films in question, an inspired way around improvisation, well-suited to the abstract nature of both movies. While lyrics appear for both compositions, unless the vocals are completely buried, the two are in fact instrumentals. "Elements of Structure" itself starts off with a slow, subtle beginning, the various performers finding their way around a loose jam structure not far off from early-'70s prog rock of all stripes, from Amon Düül to Pink Floyd, then leading to a variety of tempo shifts and explorations. There's no sense of anybody trying to rush or specifically shape the piece, though the most prominent performers would have to be Tom Rogers on drums, Shannon Systems on the EPS, and trumpeter Tim Harbeson. The end result is an appropriately dreamy, definitely gently stoned vibe that draws on the past without sounding like mere revivalism. The same can be said for "Permanence," which starts with a soft hum and then low drumming, with others adding in soft, subtle parts and again finding a way to build into a main piece. Everything is initially much less busy than "Elements of Structure," doubtless reflecting the feel of the film in question; as such, when David Mulder's piano suddenly begins a piece, for instance, its appearance is quiet but feels fairly momentous. Harbeson's accordion in the performance is worthy of note, avoiding the typical clichés of the instrument for a slower, slightly Gallic feel that's quite romantic.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
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