Green Flame on the caduc. imprint is the latest recording from Coppice, the duo of Noé Cuéllar & Joseph Kramer, a work of physical modeling & modular syntheses described as “music for driverless dream cars on their self-driven way to the junkyard“… When asked about the process further they explained it as: “gradual integration of field recordings, musical instruments (and emulators), voices/text, and other techniques into narrative and songwriting structures.” Sounds up our alley, so let me break down this nine track album that runs around an hour in length. To be released on CD + Digital this month.
The ocean wave and/or windy effects that start off Ground are static and pressurized, like a fine mist drone or tuning into radio frequencies, or both. The track runs a generous twenty-two minutes and aside from the oceanic feel, taps into invisible circuitry that is minimal and slightly menacing. Their sources are not instantly apparent, however they offer a detailed website that delves into details. As the piece moves the initial sizzle washes away into sporadic micro tonalities and small buzzing electronics. It has the effect of listening to gradations of weather patterns, in particular incoming coastal storms with heavy winds. There’s a fair balance between the hazy gray background and occasional effect.
The rumble of a passing vehicle or aircraft makes its presence heard. Tracks 2-8 are shorter vignettes with amplified movements, chirping birds, anonymous vocal chortle, animated buzz, and surprising blend of field recordings and a scope of electronic bells and gizmos. Country Road sounds anything but easing on down the road – it’s wildly interesting in its subtle complexities. The closest thing I can compare this to may be, say, Kapotte Muziek, and even that is a stretch. There’s a lot going on for a record that depends on its own breadth and intervals. Save for the slightly noisier Here which defines the meaning of gray area in its atonal approach and performative flourishes.
It’s playful gaseous-ness disengages the listener somewhat compared to the other works here, it’s more like listening to fireworks deploying randomly than any form of harmonics. Cul-de-sacs and Ashdown (Slimy) follow it with more intimate declarations that play on the downward spiral of the previous actions. But on the latter there’s a horn-like organ flair that sound like a woozy royal entrance. It’s suggestive with a literal bent, and barely audible in the final minutes. There are two short tracks titled Is This The Spot? appearing here (track 2 and 8) which sound to be snippets from lengthier pieces that dispense anticipation. There is an emedded, underlying sense of humor here throughout, it’s as subtle as all of their experiments on this, and other recordings.
Finally, on the eighteen minute finale, Emanations, the atmosphere is as if we are outside in a dark wilderness area, one of those places where there isn’t so much ambient light from nearby cities. A sixth sense gradually kicks in and you have to otherwise sense things by proximity, but the broadest scope of spatial relationships. The narrowly audible tone flickers nominally, recalling some of the experimental work of Richard Chartier. This is headphone-centric work, you’ll be able to hear a pindrop. Also, they offer their in-depth outline of concepts and other technical specs via Sphere Eversion with Freedom Hardware (A Perplexing Guide to Coppice’s Newly Cemented Dedication to Freedom). Flip on through to the other side.