Boomkat Product Review:
Vancouver’s ambient great Loscil returns with handfuls of foggy atmospheric saturation in ‘Equivalents’, his 12th solo album and 9th for long-term supporters at Kranky.
Framed by production methods mirroring the early 20th Century photographs of Alfred Stieglitz, regarded for “abstracting clouds into miasmic, painterly canvases of smoke and shadowplay”, Loscil vents eight voluminous swells of greyscale harmonics and distant, aeolian melody that beckons eyelids to half-mast and bodies to the horizontal.
Like Stieglitz’s naturally evocative images of cloud formations, Loscil’s ‘Equivalents’ are somber, wistful and beautiful in equal measure, looking above and beyond to scry for meaning in the firmament. Coming from Vancouver, a city nestled in straits that lead to the Pacific ocean, Loscil draws reflects an elemental play of light bouncing off big busy currents and big skies in a similar way to how, say, Philip Jeck can’t help but connote the silty shadowplay of light refracting off the Mersey and its waning canopy.
Fleetingly ephemeral yet immeasurably eternal, Loscil’s music feels like it occurred, rather than was made. Billowing chords loom and recede like vaporous castles in the sky, casting vast shadows of scudding bass, parting to reveal goodnight shafts of choral brilliance or textures as dense as flannel and wool, or finely effervescent as sea spray. It notably contains one tract ‘Equivalent 7’ with Loscil in collaboration with Amir Abbey aka Seceret Pyramid (Students of Decay, Ba Da Bing!) that was originally commissioned as a dance score for choreographer Vanessa Goodman, although it’s difficult to discern Abbey’s input, as it’s subsumed so well into the ebb and swell of the song.