Taylor Deupree


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Taylor Deupree's first solo album since 2012's Faint is the very distillation of a sound he has gradually been working toward for more than a decade. Making his name in the glitch scene at the turn of the millennium, his early solo work can be categorized as digital minimalism, made entirely (or at least primarily) with computer software. In recent years, however, he has turned to a much more organic production style focused on the electric guitar, which then undergoes digital signal processing. His incorporation of other organic instruments, field recordings, and analog tape recording has resulted in a sound that, while remaining minimalist, is rich, warm, and unmistakably personal. While his last couple of albums were built on loops created with a loop pedal, on this recording he has done away with digital technology as much as possible, opting to create the "loops" by hand, i.e., actually playing repetitious patterns on guitar (and sometimes piano) and recording them in real time, only later layering the recordings on top of one another to produce the fractured sound. This music is sparse, warm, slow, meditative, and beautiful. It sounds like snowmelt; there's a sense of something emerging from hibernation. Deupree has long been inspired by the harsh winters of his upstate New York home, and this album is no exception. His long-held fascination with Japan is also present, but in a subliminal rather than overt manner: the ringing single notes and washes of reverberation at times call to mind a temple bell or singing bowl. There's no traditional conception of melody here, but the unique, fractured way the low, high, and midrange tones, and the resulting harmonics, play off each other has its own fascinating beauty. But it's the spaces between the notes that speak the loudest; in a bustling, busy world, we need albums like this more than ever. The CD comes housed in a little book of Deupree's gorgeous nature photography, the twisted fibers of dried seed heads echoing the crisp and delicate nature of the music within. This is pure art, made without any expectation of commercial success, simply for the joy of experimentation. The result is both one of Deupree's most minimalist albums, and one of his most beautiful -- a contemplative oasis of stillness and beauty to immerse yourself in on lazy winter days of low, watery sunlight.

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