Music Reviews

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Artist: Tape Loop Orchestra
Title: Go Straight To The Light Of All That You Love
Format: 12" vinyl + CD
Label: Facture (@)
Rated: *****
Just like his previous outputs, Andrew Hargreaves' one-man band Tape Loop Orchestra managed to focus on a very particular emotional state or, I'd rather say, a somehow mystical path as a framework for his orchestral well-forged ambient drones, that he presumably squeezed by a massive usage of reel-to-reel tape recorder, which could have "antiquated" the samples. The reflection about life-in-art and art-in-life eternal correspondence has a well-defined cultural sparkle and feeders, related to 'In Search Of The Miraculous', an old book by Russian philosopher and thinker Ouspensky, reporting his meeting and the subsequent involvement in his teachings with George Gurdjieff. The narrative self-biographical plot is also an interesting explanation of Gurdjieff's discipline ("The Work" or "The Method" in his own words) for the awakening of self-consciousness, the so-called "Fourth Way", joining together the methods of fakir, monk and yogi or, in the other words, the methods to develop body, emotions and mind to reach a balanced inner development, that has many fans in Western hyper-stressed communities. If you are interested in this kind of subjects, I invite you to deepen them - some aspects of these teachings could look like those platitudes that are so banal that are difficult to implement in everyday life -. What matters to us is the way by which the Tape Loop Orchestra turned it into sound, despite the fact that set of beliefs is just a sparkle, and this release cannot be considered an authentic tribute to that workout. The first of the two long-lasting track on Side A of the vinyl edition (transparent strictly-limited one by Fluid Audio sister label Facture) has been titled "Go Straight Towards The Light..." and doesn't disappoint expectations by such a descriptive title. The slow blurred and over-stretched melodies will bear listeners across the tides of time using gently distorted diluted guitars, slightly modified strings and peaceful sonic entities including a siren-like singing and fluffy violins that seem to resurface from the depths of a lake covered in fog. This wise combination of sound, bordering on typically ethereal music, manages to render the emotional and spiritual dimension of the above-mentioned book likewise the second track "...of All That You Love" (just join the two titles to build what the Tape Loop Orchestra - or maybe Ouspensky? - tries to teach), where the drone becomes even more amniotic and psychotropic because of the lukewarm caresses of some whispers and a breathe that sound like the guide to sync listener's breathe in order to reach some ecstatic state of mind, that the Tape Loop Orchestra could inspire. The contrast between the calm mood of the sound and the sentence you'll find in the artwork (“Death isn’t about judgment, it collects us all.”) reprises that contrasting correspondence that Andrew summarized in some simple questions... If life is art, can the artist decide where art ends and art life begins? Can they co-exist in one form? Do we celebrate the art or the artist?



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