TWO NEW “WEATHER & WORN” REVIEWS June 7, 2009Posted by taylor in Uncategorized.
It’s true that Taylor Deupree hasn’t shied from the glitch, the drone or the odd skipping disc. Even so, his recordings have long offered refuge to traceable, tactile sounds. Whether looped field recordings, fragmented vocals or “live” incorporation of traditional instruments, there are usually at least a couple of clear, discernible elements amidst the gauze of process. As such, it probably won’t surprise anyone who’s tracked Deupree’s course over the past decade to learn that he’s just released an all-acoustic record.
It all began on a “particularly cold and rainy winter day,” Deupree explains in a candid label statement (candid, because he also admits to having a cat named “Pixel”). Reaching for a guitar, some looping pedals and a handful of other instruments, he set out to distill that familiar balance of warm, insular indoors and a damp, dreary outdoors. It was either that, or knit a scarf.
“Weather” is a creaking wheel of wispy drones, melancholy piano, murmuring voices, and scratchy artifacts. Absent, almost post-rock guitar appears at the midpoint, breaking up the static nature of the loops while inviting still deeper reverie. “Worn” is built from similar components, but has a cozier, more cottony quality. There’s a touch of the familiar, too, with a looped bit of guitar recalling Music for Airports, and a recurring guitar warm-up that seems a direct reference to Talk Talk’s “Ascension Day.” (The resemblances may be coincidental, but the ancestry’s certain.)
In addition to housing Deupree’s first all-acoustic tracks, Weather & Worn also marks the first vinyl product of 12k’s twelve-year history, inaugurating a new 7-inch line. The new sounds and new format take to one another swimmingly, the recordings practically painting a still-life of weathered, worn old 45s. And yet, I’d have liked a little more engaging of the limits imposed and opportunities afforded by this format—the matter of length, in particular. Confined to four minutes, the music pleads for a little more time. The vinyl attempts to alleviate this with run-out grooves on each side, but there’s still a sense of unfinished business.
Perhaps a concession to the brevity issue, a digital bonus track gets it exactly right. A 23-minute, slowed-down work-over of “Worn” clears some elbow room to fully capitalize on an even sleepier pattern of repetition. Featuring more prominent post-recording treatments, it’s fittingly dubbed the “Still Mix,” and draws a straighter line connecting these new works to back catalog highlights like Stil: It revisits the tricks his fans came to love, but still asserts a continued interest in more organic directions.
The impecably named Taylor Deupree, who runs the erm impecable 12k label delivers his first vinyl offering on the label, and the cute story that goes along with it will surely only make you love this release all the more.
These two pieces came about from pottering around on a rainy day with some loop pedals and a collection of instruments including acoustic guitar, kalimba, and bells. Deupree explains: “Pixel, one of my cats, was sleeping next to me as I began to create a warm bed of drones and small noises in an attempt to warm the room and my spirits.” As it so happens, the cat in question does actually contribute to these pieces, lending a wheezy snore to the music, immediately bringing to mind the reposeful feel of a Bagpuss episode coming to a close.
Watery and expansive, these are a delight to listen too, interestingly enough the digital release includes an extended version of Worn, cloking in at over 23 minutes and somewhat surprisingly making itself the best track of the bunch given the extra space to breather and expand.