Boomkat Product Review:
Their first recorded album since 2007, ‘Secret Paths’ is I Have Eaten The City’s tour-de-force. This trio of multi-instrumentalists could easily be seen as a microcosm for the practices of Toronto’s wider experimental music scene, the breadth and fluidity of their experimentations throughout their discography showcasing an alarmingly diverse range influences and atmospheres, of which ‘Secret Paths’ is a clear apex. The astonishing opener ‘Eyot’ unfurls in wide-eyed panoramic colour, showcasing a radiant display of aquatic guitar textures, gorgeous flute work and pulsating drum machine clusters all suffused with electro-tropical humidity that bathes the listener warmth before boiling to its ominous close. Album centrepiece ‘Mannequin Gait’ careens like a slow late night drive through a sprawling metropolis, the pulsing groove the only thing keeping the flowering, neon melodies from collapsing in on themselves. It’s here that saxophonist Colin Fisher really shines; his keening melodies taking flight around Nick Storring’s deeply plucked cello groove and Brandon Valdivia's throbbing and dexterous take on dub. Perhaps less obviously impressive than the telepathic interplay shown on these long-form journeys is subtlety and introspection of the trio on both ‘Ipê’ and closer ‘Mollusc’. The former's ensemble of balafon, thumb piano and cello is both suggestive of various African and South East Asian idioms, yet skirts appropriation. Meanwhile, the latter evinces the trio's interest in soft, spacious modern composition, with each player inhaling and exhaling a considered and haunted melody that feeds a continually blossoming whole. Easily the finest release on Tombed Visions so far, ‘Secret Paths’ takes a kaleidoscope of influences and reconfigures them on each of the five tracks that make up the record. It's a strong statement from a criminally underrated band at the heights of their powers—all the more dumbfounding once you realise that all this music was improvised."