Boomkat Product Review:
January represents a real high point in Taylor Deupree's catalogue, coming after his landmark album Stil. but still prior to the more ear-friendly tones of Northern, which found the 12k boss incorporating real instruments into his sonic arsenal. The album was based on the experience of touring in Japan, and features various sonic elements derived from that experience, including vocal recordings from fellow microsound artist Sawako, and snippets of toy instruments all kneaded together into a warm digital tangle. 'Img0083' continues where Stil. left off, looping aborted melodic audio fragments until, after a protracted period of time, further details like voices and soft drones rise up from obscurity. As experimental digital electronics go, this is about as soulful as it gets. The spectrally-sifted sound world explored on 'Skimming' is vintage Deupree, making computer-processed audio sound uncommonly physical - far more tactile than any such synthetic music has any right to. After the rainy, faded grey tones of 'Shibuya9', the most pop-friendly piece here - 'Midlight' - shudders into life. At just under six minutes it stands as the shortest track on the album, but it's brimming with a sophistication based around its stuttering, suspended animation structure. The concluding piece, 'Quiet_C' is less loop-based than the rest of the album, mapping out an irregular, meandering path across its nine minutes. The track is comprised of multitudinous languid oscillator tones gently lapping over one another in the most slow and gradual fashion, bringing the album to a luxuriously beautiful close. Any 12k devotees who missed January first time around would do well to put this right at the top of their 'must have' list. It's one of those rare electronic records that just gets better with age. Essential Purchase.