Taylor Deupree

Every Still Day

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AllMusic Review by

If there's one artistic crime Taylor Deupree can't be found guilty of, it's stagnation. Through recent collaborations with labelmates Kenneth Kirschner and Christopher Willits, he's managed to shift away from the callous sine waves that were the hallmark of a music he helped to champion, microsound, and begin to incorporate more organic instrumentation into his works. He's also managed to move the fold away from the process and into more melodic territory, as evidenced by his return to his dancefloor roots on various Audio.NL releases and his shoegaze-inspired January release on the Spekk imprint. These movements, among others, are what have set Deupree up for one of the biggest artistic challenges of his career: reinterpreting and reconstructing an album's worth of material from a live band. The obscure band in question is the somber, Japanese kindred spirit of Mazzy Star, Eisi. The tracks found on Every Still Day were originally issued on the tiny Noble label in 2003 under the name Awaawa, and what's found here is a ten-song, 46-minute reinterpretation of Awaawa that's as every bit as striking as the original. In most instances, a reconstructed album is a shoddily produced affair, with edits and rearrangements stripping the soul and intention of the original release. But Deupree's reverence and sensitivity to the original is quite evident. Like a surgeon performing the most delicate of operations, he is more than up to the task of improving upon the material without overdoing it. Nowhere evident on this album are the glitches and high frequencies that have become synonymous with Deupree's production style; their absence is a testament to just how skillful he has become with his instrument of choice, the Kyma processor. Layers of gentle acoustic instrumentation, darker drones, and a hint of percussion (implied by digital edits) are the bed from which the tracks here originate, sprinkled lightly with chords from synthesizers and horns; somewhere in the fog is the haunting voice of Eisi lead vocalist Mujika Easel. The arrangements are as heavy and dense as anything Miles Davis composed during his electric period, and the delicate frailty of the compositions are comparable to passages in Talk Talk's epic masterpiece Laughing Stock. These comparisons may be blasphemous to those unfamiliar with Deupree's work (and may be blasphemous to those who are), but both carry the common thread that is exemplified throughout Every Still Day. This isn't just electronic music of the highest pedigree, it's an exploration into new territories of fresh, challenging music.

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