A vital cog and immortal player in Vancouver's alternative music scene -- having played drums for Dan Bejar's Destroyer while also making an endless slew of ambient works -- Scott Morgan is better known as Loscil. 'Sea Island' is a new record of sorts, collecting loose but original material Morgan has made over the last two years. Some of these pieces were composed with spare studio time, while many of them began life as live works. 'Sea Island' proves Morgan to be a master of synthesising electronic drones with an acoustic discipline -- Kranky, innit?
Vinyl Double LP £27.99 KRANK191LP
2LP on Kranky.
CD £13.99 KRANK191
CD on Kranky.
I'd say out of all the modern ambient practitioners that Loscil is one of the most idiosyncratic, so much so that he pulls a lot of similar tricks throughout his discography which either means you only need one of his albums or you've got to have them all in greedily in your mitts. Scott Morgan is his name and welcome to his pulsating amorphous sonic world where meditative calm, shimmering textures and and the gentlest of lulling rhythms or bass drops are the order of the day. Blanketing your mind in intoxicating aural mist.
For an example, 'Bleeding Ink' resembles an ambient techno deconstruction with just the gentlest of electronic cluster vibations and a brittle android melody line, it blossoms into a gorgeous ethereal mystery pinned down by an ominous throb and and tranced drone. Then comes in the digital zip that often sounds like a backward-masked violin. One of his great sonic tricks is this. A past masterpiece, 'Plume', describes much of his music quite adequately. All these dubby steam-like rushes and filters dotted about. Blissed little quizzical motifs dropped in. Celestial backdrops that are as lush as Bvdub's finest vistas.
Then there's the neo-classical animation of rhodes, piano and vibrophone to enhance the undeniable resonance and richness to proceedings. 'Sea Island' is stuffed with all the fine ingredients to be anticipated from Morgan, and as an umpteenth album goes, his grip on the ambient world seems to bear no sign of weakening as yet. Lovely involving gear as always from Mr. Loscil.
10/10 David 16th February 2015
Jim McEwan is wrong. This is a perfect album.
Late at night, quietly so as not to annoy the neighbours, but still loud enough to get bass response; entering a hypnagogic state, straining hard to keep eyes open; pulses and beeps provide stimulation to persist - the will to pursue to conclusion. You feel the references to other minimalists and experimentalists, but this is another place. This is a development of the influences into a work that stands by itself, away from it's forebears.
When I awoke, the urge to recreate the initial euphoria was strong, and repeat listens do not fail to excite.
9/10 Jim Ewen 15th December 2014
The only reason I haven't provided this album with a full on 10 out of 10 is simply down to a perfect album, for me, would be one that has everything. Loscil doesn't provide everything and nor should we ever expect that. What he does provide however is perfect minimal soundscapes laden with musicality unlike you will hear from many others. He has all but created his own niche within the electronica genre. Those that may be interested in research into philosophical notions of 'Sublime' would do well to fire this album into your head as a fine example of how 'minimalism' can bring us to notions of grandeur and said sublime. If Caspar David Friedrich had made movies Loscil could supply the soundtracks. All that said there are easier ways to enjoy this and they involve a couch, wine and headphones. Its gorgeous, thoughtful and contemplative. No surprises here and nor do we want any from an artist that can create scapes like this with sound. Oh okay then 10 out 0f 10 it is. :)
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- Sea Island by Loscil
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