Boomkat Product Review:
Marking a slight departure from the modern-classical inspired ambience of his prior material (most notably, his much-beloved 2007 album, Copia) Eluvium's Matthew Cooper has started to integrate vocals and more overtly song-like material into his music. There's a certain familiarity to the layered backdrops Cooper employs, all fashioned from warm, swelling gusts of instrumentation, digitised piano melodies and reverse-looping sonic fragments, yet the record is structured in such a fashion as to invite a whole new set of listeners to Eluvium's sound world. A piece like 'The Motion Makes Me Last' succeeds not only as a stirring piece of ambient production, but as a great pop song too - albeit an emotionally wrought, rather maudlin one. Cooper's singing voice was built for melancholy, sounding like a more obviously musical, tremulous take on Ronald Lippok's performances in Tarwater. Similes is well punctuated with non-vocal tracks too, from the evocative yet relatively simple thrum of 'Nightmare 5' to the florid, Eno-inspired 'In Culmination'. It's often the case that the more accessible ambient music becomes, the more likely it is that it simply evaporates into the background, but in remolding his material into an album narrative based around songs, Matthew Cooper largely avoids such trappings, making a first step towards a bold artistic rebirth for Eluvium.