Boomkat Product Review:
Andrew Hargreaves (The Boats/Cotton Goods) returns to his Tape Loop Orchestra accompanied by singer Beth Roberts for an album of sublime, multi-layered and slow-building ambient scapes that comes strongly recommended if you're into Stars of The Lid, William Basinski, Tim Hecker and Rachel’s, or indeed if you collected that beautiful series of releases on Cotton Goods.
For The Invisibles Hargreaves was inspired by skools of parapsychology and 20th century avant garde art to broach one of the big, esoteric questions, “is death the end and are those who passed to other side trying to make contact with us?", their journey gradually building to create huge emotive impact.
With the highly sought after predecessor, Go Straight To The Light Of All That You Love still glowing in the rearview, Tape Loop Orchestra this time opt to conure a widescreen perspective squared between the parapsychological studies of EVP, the cosmic noise noumena of Sun Ra; a mysterious book entitled The Invisibles, by an anonymous author; and the work of Dutch conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader, whose final, incomplete work involved a failed, solo transatlantic crossing in a small boat, which was found, without its captain, 150 miles from the Irish coast.
Taking that all on board, The Invisibles forms a study of what lies beyond. Using a sublime production palette to gradually bloom a vast sound intended to dilate the listener’s consciousness; conflating notions of high and low brow art to open a space for intuitive reception and perception. The expansive multi-tracked production methods enable a broader, non-linear arrangement of familiar base elements, allowing them to keen away with an amorphous agenda that has long underlined Tape Loop Orchestra’s music through themes of decay and renewal, yet always previously circumscribed by their relatively rudimentary process.
Across both sides of the extended, singular piece, TLO’s exhaled strings and voices now ebb and swell with a more organic, melted meter, texture and unfathomable depth of field, creating exactly the sort of conditions required to ponder matters of such enduring artistic importance...