The ripples of the Romantic pastoral ideal, of the individual and the countryside, remain awfully attractive. The Angling Loser evoke the assuring pleasures of nature through electronically treated guitar, self sampling and looping, field recordings, and vast space. It reminds me of taking mushrooms at Walden Pond, waist deep in the water, transfixed with the shifts of light and depth above and below the surface, thinking (as a voice does within “Dawn”) that “sometimes there is joy in simply being by the waterside.” Author of the Twilight offers an innocent freeing of the ears.
But the best of these artistic transportations still preserve the anxiety and tension of its city-dweller audience amidst the seeming serenity: wanderlust may describe an immersion in Nature, but it still implies an internal displacement and a longing search. The shades of uncertainty in Author of the Twilight are what save these sprawling songs – no matter how immersive and textured they may be – from a scented-candle, massage-oil pigeonholing. Tectonic harmonic colors do occasionally clash to great effect. The vocal samples of calmly dictated existential questions especially darken the repeating swirls of suspensions and playful field recordings, as after initial sensory fetishization one’s doubts and worries take greater hold and one is “hypnotized by the slow swirls and disorienting reflections” in the same psychic waters as before.
This project has massive poetic ambitions and is meticulously constructed. Even the packaging is carefully collaged and personalized. Carrying the ear through the lilting passage of the day, Author of the Twilight seeks a closure of the external and internal. The scope of the conclusion, whether as dire as a Schubert cycle or as wide-eyed as a mystical lyric, is yours to fill in. Purchase a copy from Time Released Sound and also hear others remix and interact with these questions on a second disc.