Monday, February 9, 2009

Plenum: Tape--Luminarium

I recenlty posted on Tape, where I referred to their music as "that long range telescopic, pin-hole view of the depths of being, colored by small points of longing, and something that sounds like love." I have finally been able to give the whole album a listen. My wife and I played it late one night in bed, lights off, in repose.

Most of the pieces are guided by a simple acoustic guitar. The other sounds and instruments don't so much build on it as function as emanations of a sort. They only exist because of the primary structure. They draw their meaning from the guitar, and then provide new layers of insight. But they never get mistaken for the actual thing itself. There are a few tracks that offer surprises of the sort that you feel as though you just stumbled upon the answer to some secret. But then it fades away. There is a feeling of loneliness at times, but it is pinned down by immense hope.

Tape has a nostalgia for pop, but instead of crafting a pop song, they draw from pop just enough nutrients to keep it all aloft. The third track "Fingers," feels like a deconstruction of a pop song that is at times quite disconcerting. But overall, the buzz of the electronics actually crack open the songs and reveal the yolk, where the real proteins are found.

Simply put, one of the best albums so far this year, and close to perfect in terms of craftsmanship, heart, and the thing that makes this kind of music so important: the possibility that sound can actually shape consciousness.

(Thanks again to Raven Sings the Blues for turning me on to this.)

Tape-- Moth Wings
Tape-- Beams

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