The Corrupting Sea
Reflections (Somewherecold Records; CS/DL)
The Corrupting Sea (Jason T. Lamoreaux) has only been releasing ambient music for a couple of years, but has already put out a handful of tapes on his own Texan imprint. It starts with a reverie of percussion layered with slightly twangy synths on Triumph. Mostly what I imagine a preamble in its declarative repetition, it sort of revs your senses for the unfolding The Phoenix. The recording has the allure of various instrumental incidental interludes of conceptual, latter day Blancmange records. It’s on the far flung outer edge of pop. The paced timing, and synth streaming are stylish and clean. On Lights we are treated to our first glimpse of something in the realm of an inside-out sci-fi soundtrack, stripped of earthiness, fueled by galactic melody. The vibe seems to be in reverse, mimicking the trajectory of the dew globules in Garett Wood‘s macro images that don the multi-fold cover art. It’s a place of wonder, a reduced galaxy where the stars hover effortlessly, in time and in space.
This sound flows into the tape’s centerpiece, the seventeen minute opus Flooded Gnosis. With soft ghostly drones and measured keystrokes a wind twists through this lethargic theme. Layered as if it were careening though a wormhole, the discarded bits flare to the edges, and the bare-bones craft dispatches us into a soft-spoken chordal journey. Most of what you hear afterward, on Calm and Uninterrupted Solipsis is mostly quite low-key and meditative, but not without a certain lingering tension in the air, something that is just above/below the cellular surface at all times. For instance, at one moment on the latter track, a sustained plume of steam is suddenly released as tiny keytones unveil the mysteries beyond a hinted music box. After a while it morphs via the minds eye, like a waterfall or rushing river.
In the end Swell materializes and, well, in fact tangibly swells with a slightly sinister and sensitive synth signature. There’s noise and melody playing on separate, dual tracks, mirroring each other in their differences, never quite meeting in the middle, yet forming a sense of communion, of distant harmony. It’s a drone pulse that docks in place and reverberates into the cosmic ether. The track ties together the light and dark sides of Reflections, a tape worthy of pressing replay.