Chris Child & Micah Frank - Tape Pieces Vol. 1 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Chris Child & Micah Frank - Tape Pieces Vol. 1

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:8 Release Date:2019-08-23
Chris Child & Micah Frank - Tape Pieces Vol. 1
Chris Child & Micah Frank - Tape Pieces Vol. 1

Chris Child and Micah Frank have put out a weird one with the aptly named EP, Tape Pieces Vol. 1. What you have here is a moody mishmash of sounds that falls somewhere in the ambient electronic area of the map.

They've definitely taken some inspiration from groups like Boards of Canada, with the opener, 'Peering at Dawn' having the similarly bleary, nostalgic feel that much of BoC's music does. There's not much to it other than a warbling synth line or two that don't go very far before the sound fades out. It's interesting but ultimately inconsequential. Second track 'Prisms and Whims' goes farther, starting with a clockwork synth line that builds oh-so-slowly, and works that fuzzy 70s vibe (or is it really 90s, since that's the actual origin of the style?) hard. Ghostly pads move in and out of focus too, as if many layers of reality were passing through each other. It's a wonderful effect.

'Debris of the Days' echoes gently, and sounds like sinking into the ocean, with distant buoys floating all around. There's no need to panic though; this is a peaceful descent, more like a float tank than a drowning. By the time your back hits the sediment at the bottom, you'll be a Zen master seeing in five dimensions.

Finale 'Stargazer' pushes the mood of the set to its absolute limit. Numinous pads vibrate on the edge of perception, and tiny, tinkling synths run down like raindrops on a window. You're looking through that window onto a scene of yourself playing as a young child, and you feel like your heart is going to explode with emotion. It's almost too much. Then the pressure subsides and you're able to drift away into the darkness before a repeating tone, like a broken phone played on a piano, brings you back. Truly a remarkable song.

And the set is, for the most part, remarkable, in its subdued way. The quiet nature of the songs belies their intensity. But if you really pay attention, you'll go to some amazing places.

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