Taylor Deupree / Christopher Willits

Taylor Deupree & Christopher Willits

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Recorded live at the Tonic in N.Y.C. on November 26, 2002, this set extends the "label mates" relationship between Taylor Deupree and Christopher Willits to a "collaborators" status. Willits had just released his debut album, Folding, and the Tea, on Deupree's 12k imprint. Released in the elegant Audiosphere series, this CD actually contains only 20 minutes of duets: the first six tracks. The last half-hour of music consists of two extended solo pieces. The duo tracks are short, melodic, and driven by the kind of half-stated melancholia that has become more and more prevalent in experimental electronica after the release of Fennesz's Endless Summer. Although here the music takes a different route, adding a light touch of cheerfulness. The pair quickly finds common ground to work on, Deupree's deceptively simple textures attaching themselves to Willits' shards of melodic suggestions. The set ends somewhat abruptly after the 90-second "Suspended by Giant Balloons," at a point where the listener is not ready to "let go." Deupree's solo set (19 minutes) is a different beast: it focuses on two contrasting textures: a soft glitchy background and warm organ-like tones that give the piece an analog feel and a slow, processional development. It doesn't rank among his best live pieces, but it makes a fine addition to this CD. Willits' solo set (ten minutes) comes back to the languid guitar sounds that formed the backbone of Folding, and the Tea, his rearrangement of soft electric guitar notes leaving a trace of clicks in the cuts to create unstable mock-rhythms. There is nothing here his debut album hadn't already stated, but if you happened to miss it, this track will help you nail down his contribution to the six duets.

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