BY FRED MILLS
At times dreamy and serene, other times edgy and abstract, this Raleigh, NC, post-rock instrumental duo navigates the vestigial spaces frequented by the dubby likes of Seefeel and Can as well as such ambient pioneers as Aphex Twin and Bark Psychosis. The two multiinstrumentalists—Michael de Paris (vocals, guitar, piano, electronics) and TJ Goode (percussion/drums, keys, electronics)—clearly revel in the possibilities held forth by experimentation, and for their third release, following 2012’s Cells and 2013’s Primavera, they set the controls directly for the heart of the improv sun.
“Traffic Pollen,” for example, is awash in scrapes of percussion and bowed noise set against a blistering backdrop of treated guitar distortion. “When the Sun Talks Back,” by contrast, has an auburn-tinted glow, its gentle, luminous drift ‘n’ sway reminiscent of the cosmic ballets one encounters in outer space documentaries – “soundtracks” indeed. And “Color Sunburst” does indeed suggest vintage Can, what with the woozy, echoey fretboard plucks and hypnotic, neo-martial drumming. The dubby, jazz fusion-tilting “Wow! This Is Durty!” should also at least be mentioned for its delightful title; that it reminds one of Talk Talk during their latter, untethered period, makes it a must-hear. Ten tracks in all, each of them wildly different from one another, with the bottom line being Soundtracks makes for a deeply compelling listen, the kind you’ll want to return to over and over.
Incidentally, if the album artwork above seems tantalizingly familiar, you’re probably not imagining things. The text font for Daughter Element Soundtracks carries visual echoes of the font on Can’s Soundtracks, and to a small degree, there are aesthetic similarities to Can’s Inner Space as well. This might all be a coincidence, but given the album title and the group’s stated reverence for the legendary German band, I suspect it isn’t. I should also add that although I picked up the Bark Psychosis comparison, mentioned above, from one of the duo’s “likes” on the Daughter Element Facebook page, as I am a huge fan of Bark Psychosis and own all of the UK group’s records, the comparison sounds apt.
Go to the band’s Bandcamp page listed above to preview the entire album.
DOWNLOAD: “Color Sunburst,” “When the Sun Talks Back,” “Wow! This Is Durty!”