LUGANO FELL: Slice Repair (Baskaru)


Posted on Aug 27th 2010 01:41 am

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Lugano Fell: Slice Repair

Slice Repair
Baskaru 2010
10 Tracks. 47mins21secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

Lugano Fell is the side project of James Taylor, best known as one half of Swayzak, but this is when the connection ends. While the duo have been dispensing dance floor-friendly tunes for the most part of the last decade and a half, his concern here is entirely different. Three years in the making, Slice Repair, Taylor’s debut solo following a handful of CDR releases, is a record all in clair-obscure undertones and delicate touches where electronics and processed acoustics cross paths to form evocative little sonic ambient tales which, apart for the epic closing piece, often last barely long enough to flourish fully.

In just under fifty minutes, Taylor assembles a rather varied soundtrack here, from the sombre grainy soundscapes of album opener Bleaker, Slope or Hofnah and the contrasted expanses of Caniculaire, Vallory or 47 Easy 47 to the sliced up folk of Preform Naple or Two Hundred Clocks And A Metre. Working from quite a vast palette, built from both processed and unprocessed acoustic elements and electronic components, Taylor occasionally ventures into territories beyond the realm of simple electronic music by placing drones, musique concrete or noise into his sound constructions. Of these experiments, he draws some particularly effective pieces which have a propensity to develop in unexpected fashion, going from moments of subtle understatement to chaotic explosions, arid expanses or intensely organic textures, sometimes in the space of a few minutes. This is however much more controlled than it appears, and nothing is totally left to chance. The progression from pulsating bell-like electronics to dense atmospheric textures and eventually corrosive noise on Caniculaire for instance, all within just over two minutes, is quite fascinating, especially as it happens surprisingly smoothly. There are similarly extensive developments on Preform Naple or Vallory, although, on these, this is done almost in reverse, from an incredibly busy and complex first half to a much more delicate minimal acoustic second half on the former or, on the latter, from the peaceful setting of the first few minutes to denser middle section, then back to much more minimal forms.

The piece de resistance comes at the end of the record. Spanning almost fifteen minutes, Two Hundred Clocks And A Metre sees Taylor slices up acoustic guitar work into tiny particles, which he then repositions in a seemingly melodic series of patterns, but the random character of these and the constant flow of clicks and glitches reveals that, far from being re-assembled in an order remotely close to the original, these patterns actually shape a totally new overall image. The progression is here much more subtle, as Taylor breaks up the piece into smaller sections, all interconnected and similar in appearance, with only shifts in then intensity of the piece marked clearly. Toward the end however, the mood becomes hazier as the acoustic components are progressively swallowed by a dense noisy sound form. .

With Lugano Fell, James Taylor intended to escape the club aspect he had been interacting with as part of Swayzak. Whether he was aiming at such a vastly different result is quite unclear, but he has certainly managed to step away from his usual work to create a strong experimental piece of work.


Lugano Fell | Lugano Fell (MySpace) | Baskaru
Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

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