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Curling Pond Woods

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Album Review

Revealing himself as a distinctive artist with his first record, Greg Davis added to his repertoire of delightfully naturalist productions with 2003's Curling Pond Woods. Much more an electro-acoustic composer than a laptop producer, Davis uses his tracks to set up straw dogs — guitars on one track, warm-sounding gongs on another — and only gradually tears them down using repetition or sound-processing tools. That he sprinkles among these pieces covers of obscure material by the Beach Boys and Incredible String Band is the perfect illustration of his twin strengths: understanding the power of the right instrument to evoke a desired mood (Brian Wilson virtually revolutionized the use of symphonic instruments in a pop context), and knowing that music has a special ability to provoke primal feelings of times gone by (ISB's Mike Heron and Robin Williamson made one of the best cases for folk music really being much more arch and weird than Tuck & Patti could ever dream). Davis' compositions can be mostly experimental ("Improved Dreaming") or mostly pop ("Shoes & Socks"), but he's lost none of the power — evident on Arbor — to create complex, evocative music out of simplistic repetition and variations.

Biography

Born: 1976 in Crystal Lake, IL

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

The classically-trained Greg Davis, who has largely helped to define subgenres such as folktronica, laptop folk, and pastoral electronica, creates intricate and subtle compositions that merge organic, computer-generated sounds with warm, natural tones, live instrumentation, and field recordings, while referencing artists like Boards of Canada, Brian Wilson and the Incredible String Band. At Depaul University in Chicago, Davis studied classical and jazz guitar, as well as composition and Jazz Studies....
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Curling Pond Woods, Greg Davis
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