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  Endless Falls  
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It has been a while since we checked in with ambient electronic dub artist Loscil, about six years in fact. Not that there has been a lot of activity from Loscil during that time. Sure, there was a record titled Plume that came out in 2006, but for some reason i missed that one on release. I got it a few years later, and enjoyed it as it was similar to the previous Loscil records. And anyone who has been reading this site for a while will know that i enjoy Loscil records. This is my fourth review of an artist that has released five records, so that tells you something.

Loscil's fifth album starts off with title track Endless Falls, which begins with a sample of rain. It clatters down for a few moments, until a nice wavering drone floats in, dancing above the rain sound. This is nicely Loscil-y. Then, unexpectedly, a cello wanders in. It saws away in front of the drone for a few minutes, then fades out. The drone lingers for another few minutes, then fades out itself. I like the addition of cello to the Loscil palate.

The next track, Estuarine starts with a chiming hit that is like the PING sound on submarines in movies, a reference which calls back to Loscil's Submers record. This song consists of some old synth sounds, reminding me of early Tangerine Dream as it drones along in a slightly high-pitched fashion. At the halfway mark Loscil adds a slow, echoed all to hell and back, piano bit. This is a dreary song, but lovely.

Shallow Water Blackout is a mass of slow burbling rhythm and drone that is okay, but not spectacular. This is almost a generic Loscil song -- it is his template in its simplest form. However, the next tune takes that same generic template and increases the rhythm. The song is Dub For Cascadia and it moves along at a good head-bopping dub pace. King Tubby would have liked this, and it is a damned fine tune in general.

After visiting classic electronic dub, Loscil moves into a slightly different musical space for the next two tracks. Here, he is making music that seems classical in nature. Fern and Robin starts very lightly with a bare hint of drone, then adds in a slow plinking rhythm, and some deep horn (bass recorder courtesy of Robert Sparks), and a dripping noise. This song is classical music and electronic drone overlapping in a way that reminds me a little of Biosphere's Shenzhou record. The next track is called Lake Orchard, and it features a lovely little melodic motif repeated and riffed upon. If this was done by a bunch of people with stringed instruments and not one Canadian with a MacBook, this would be a hit at symphony halls. Very lovely stuff.

After that, we are back to more traditional dub in Showers of Ink. This is a nice wavering drone that has been paired with a fun tinkling sound. It is like someone it tapping a glass with a fork, slowly, mapping out a long, ponderous rhythm.

And finally we wrap things up with The Making of Grief Point, which labels "[Explicit]", although if there is profanity it must be pretty subtle. And yes, there are vocals here, specifically Dan Bejar (who is in the band Destroyer with Loscil, aka, Scott Morgan) talks over a typical Loscil song. Bejar is ranting in a vaguely beat poetry sort of way. The music under the rant is nice, but seems tense for Loscil, but that might have something to do with the vocals. The whole thing fades out slowly to the sound of rain, bringing the record back to where it began.

Now, one thing to keep in mind: most of the songs on this record are about seven minutes long. So when i say that a song consists of a long drone with minimal percussion, i am speaking in terms of scale outside the three minute pop tune. Heck, there are beat-free introductions to Loscil songs that are longer than a three minute pop tune! You should know by now whether or not that type of long tune will bore you, so act accordingly.

Overall, this is another fine record from Loscil. People who have enjoyed his previous work will find much to like here. And yet, Loscil continues to push what he does in small ways. From the beat poetry on the last track to the cello on the first, he adds small little tweaks to his overall sound. Not that he is drastically doing anything different, but he is moving forward, slowly, at an ambient dub pace, which really seems appropriate...

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Also on EvilSponge:
   Album: Triple Point
   Album: Submers
   Album: First Narrows


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