Gareth Flowers – Acousmatic Album Review (w/ Full Album Stream)

It’s been my contention for the last five years or so that loop pedals are the coolest musical invention of the modern era, almost cooler than say, wah pedals or even the vaunted digital delay effect. How cool are loop pedals? Well, they can even make instrumental trumpet music sound interesting, apparently. There are a billion drone artists and records coming out these days, partially because of the ease with which one can make a drone album, and the fact that drone just kind of sounds awesome, but until now, I was yet to hear a specialty trumpet drone record. Maybe there are others, but this is my first exposure to the ambient trumpet drone concept — which makes it an interesting gem to have in my collection for novelty’s sake alone.

But it goes well beyond that. This record is quite gorgeous or shimmery, or gorgeously shimmery, or some other combination of those words — ones which I don’t use to describe music very often at all. It’s really little more than trumpet phrases run through a loop pedal with maybe some reverb and a bit of delay — then continually contorted, re-looped, manipulated, etc. There are maybe a few keyboard blips here and there, but it’s very minimal on that front. And yet, this record wouldn’t have nearly the potency that it does if it was anything else. I have no idea why, but every time I put on this disc, I think of skyscrapers at dawn with that time lapse footage where you can see all the elements and people moving around them at what looks like super speed. I see the waves crashing against the surf while the building just stand there — unfazed megaliths operating on a completely different time grid than the rest of us insects. We go about our business and they remain, forces of nature existing in their own austere universe, like the trees or the holy mountains. It’s a very intriguing vibe — one illuminating the difference between ourselves and our inventions, and the vast chasm between the consciousness of the two. Or at least that’s what it makes me ponder, whether that was the intention or not. It’s very soundtracky stuff, which gives the mind space to create whatever cinematic mental imagery it’s driven to concoct. Thumbs up.

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