Golden Retriever is the most well-tempered and patient of all the breeds in the
large dog category, the primary reason why they are such a major staple in
American families as well as their wide utilization as service dogs for the
physically and mentally handicapped as well as for the blind.
it can best be assumed that the calm overrode the cute in the duo of Jonathan
Sielaff and Matt Carlson’s decision to name their latest project after this
fuzzy, loveable canine given the context of this strange and beautiful music
the longtime bandmates from such underground staples as AU and Parenthetical
Girls has created under their current moniker.
Occupied with the Unspoken, the duo’s
first offering for the Thrill Jockey label, is an exercise in creating
multi-textural polyphonic melodies through the implementation of two
instruments known predominantly for emanating just one note apiece: the bass
clarinet and the modular synthesizer. And in spite of the odds, Sielaff and
Carlson successfully achieve their goal over the rhine of this quartet of
nine-plus-minute abstract jams, forcing out multi-dimensional amalgams of free jazz
skronk, minimalist classical, drone and ENO-esque art pop within the closed
confines of their musical parameters by procuring an arsenal of effects pedals
to delay, phase-out and pitch-bend the singular notes to any shape or form they
songs here, like “Canopy” and “Winter Light”, have been
known to stretch beyond the half-hour mark when performed live. But these
studio renditions are tighter and more focused, pared down in Carlson’s studio
basement, reveal a more concentrated reimagining of Golden Retriever’s material
that gives you just the right amount of time to appreciate the nuanced textures
of their truly individualistic approach to electronic composition.
with the Unspoken is a headphone trip that ultimately proves to be an enjoyable
listen in spite of the complexity of its craftsmanship. As a matter of fact,
there’s a good chance even the family dog will dig it.
“Winter Light” RON HART