Tag Cloud | Slow Light
Fuzzy Panda Recording Company (CS/DL)
The latest from Chris Videll as Tag Cloud encapsulates four works that are at once a step out of time, and its quite peculiar to venture to guess which way they point. Slow Light verges on the psychedelic, something shadowed, something Moog. It’s a bit of a snake charmer and yet could likely have been culled directly from the futuristic warble of the temple of 70’s teutonic German rock. Yet, it’s always once removed – which gives it this screened back atmosphere that flows and goes.
Based out of the US capital you’d hardly even imagine this coming from an American in the heart of it, or maybe it makes sense when you are in a bubble (of sorts). His is a sound enriched by undertones, by the flexing buzz that pinpoints its central nervous system, even though the attitude is quite cool, collected. Videll embellishes surfaces with bountiful slow-motion drama, fermented by the expert nimble ear of Mark Beazley on the mastering deck.
Black Ice is simply haunting, there is no other word to describe it. It’s not at all scary, not filled with phony ghouls and draconian effects, it simply oozes this chilling sense of separation. And the whole album continually casts shadows. At one point during Distance = Rate X Time I literally felt a slight dizzy typing this at my desk. It’s like a hallucinatory casting of soundwaves in continual succession balanced from all sides. It takes you through an endless tunnel for nearly seven minutes.
There is a tendency toward the ambient throughout as well, especially with the rain-like hiss on the closer Chaos. This gorgeous work is vibrant with a dark side that becomes an impacted, deeply layered, murky drone, but never turns from the source melody that seems to become a container, growing thinner over time. But once this mass releases we are left with the final three minutes – a magical mind rinse.