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erasurehead – Yauhtli


From the very first moments of “Potentials Unlimited”, the first track on Yauhtli, I was hooked on the unlikely marriage of a wandering electronic bassline and light woodwind stabs. It’s a pairing that I found so unexpectedly soft and driving. It was inquisitive, wondering, lost. It suggested the beginning of some great journey or experience. I mean, this is the stuff of dreams – this is the stuff we listen to music for.

erasurehead is listed as “the recording project of a cooper reid” and indeed this album seems to be very much about collecting unnatural sounds and arranging them in unlikely ways. The overall tone of this music is like this: imagine being invited to the most psychedelic elementary school band recital you’ve ever dreamed of. What are the children using? Dramatic timpani, brassy things, wiggling electronics, jaw harps, synthesizers, thin guitars, odd shaped bells. The framework of these performances remain mostly as looping grooves with strange theatrical sections that tense up and then release. On top of all this are these delicate, flowery synthesizer whirlies and pulsing organ sounds that generate variation and reference the natural themes present on this record – clouds, plants, drugs.

Some of my naughty feelings towards this album are that it is amatuerish or ‘novice’ because it is so extremely lo-fi, and on top of that so low-energy. The tropical bossa-nova vibes of “Gay Safari” are wacked out and playful beyond belief. Reid’s pubescent, somewhat strained voice which peeks through every so often only speaks moans and groans some gibberish. A part of me wonders if I’m being left out of some joke. But I can’t get enough – it satisfies and moves me very deeply. My desire for something clear or profound is defied, I’m left with something altogether more joyful and more transcendent.

A description on band camp says these songs are “liminal”, a word I had to look up, suggesting that Yauhtli contains reports from the very early stages of creation – before things are fussed, reconsidered, or iterated on. Some kind of dream state, the in between of conscious and unconscious thought. This, paired with a leaning towards textures that are noisy and obtuse and a production value that is foggy makes for an incredibly endearing album and one that warms me listen after listen. Cheers to you A Cooper Reid. Thank You.

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