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- Works For Cassette by Taiga Remains
8/10 Jim Staff review, 22 May 2014
Apart from running the Students of Decay label, Alex Cobb has been releasing recordings of mysterious, guitar based minimalism under the Taiga Remains alias for nearly a decade. Now preferring to release music under his own name, this is the last Taiga Remains record, but what a thing of beauty it is.
Blissed-out opener ‘Sup Pralad’ starts things off with the breathy tape hiss or amplifier hum that forms the backdrop to all the tracks, before a slow motion guitar picks spacious notes amid a soup of shimmering slap-back delay and reverb. What else is going on in there is hard to tell but rich, sitar-like overtones and backward phrases seem to emerge from the overlapping notes before the track fades back into the ether.
As we move onto ‘There’s Nothing’, any recognizable trace of guitar is all but lost as we find ourselves drawn further and further into an alien world of floating dissonances, alternately beguiling and harsh. There are all kinds of paradoxes at work with Cobb’s music: it sounds both distant and immersive, emanating from the speakers and enveloping everything like a psychoactive mist; soothing but intense, with slowly revolving, great spheres of sound often harbouring mercurial surface patterns as overtones resonate and react. If you are looking for a musical equivalent of Rothko’s colour field paintings, then this should do the trick. This would also appeal to fans of William Basinski’s melancholic loop works as well as followers of the kind of ambient music put out by discerning labels like Type or even Kranky.
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