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Talk Amongst the Trees

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Album Review

After taking a break and immersing himself in a 30-minute, one-take piano piece that resulted in 2004's An Accidental Memory in Case of Death, Matthew Cooper (aka Eluvium) returns to forms and ideas he started to flesh out with Lambent Material and brings them to a more fully realized state throughout Talk Amongst the Trees. The album is longer than Lambent and employs the same types of instrumentation, but takes it in a more focused and emotionally charged direction. It's experimental music in the vein of Eno, Kevin Shields and Max Richter to be sure — but like these aforementioned composers, it's not the process or concept that is the main concern, but the effect the music has on Cooper, and in turn, on his audience. "New Animals From the Air," the album's ten-minute opener, picks up where "I Am So Much More Me" (Lambent Material's closing composition) left off; warm swirling guitar swells flying around slow and melodic passages that seem to creep from out of nowhere. This is where Cooper does almost instinctively what it takes others to master over the course of a few releases: his sense of timing. He knows when to start and let ideas fold around themselves, and most importantly knows when to let them fade away into the creative from which they came. "Area 41," although brief, provides a haunting interlude which would not feel out of place on the sublime Pop Ambient series that German label Kompakt issues annually; while "Everything to Come" and "Calm of the Cast-Light Cloud" are so warm and serene that even the hardest of chin-stroking post-rock fans would acknowledge their simplistic beauty. The 16-minute work out of "Taken" sounds eerily like Pachelbel's canon, which makes it all the more endearing and a natural climax setting up the somber finale "One." This is not just a release for post-rock, experimental, ambient or electronic fans. This is a release for everyone who simply likes honest, well-crafted music.


Born: Tennessee

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Portland, Oregon resident Matthew Cooper records ambient music under the alias Eluvium. With effects-heavy guitar drones that would feel equally at home on an album by Brian Eno or Fennesz, his recordings obtained a passionate following among fans of post-rock and experimental indie. Over time, his sound grew and branched out, incorporating strings, vocals, pianos, and more overt classical influences. His debut release, Lambent Material, was released on the Temporary Residence imprint in 2003. The...
Full Bio

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Talk Amongst the Trees, Eluvium
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