Album: First Narrows
Released: 10 May 2004
First Narrows (53'38"), the third album by loscil (aka Scott Morgan), contains seven gritty, glitchy audio studies of rhythm and texture. Ranging from shimmering and sonorous to gloomy and inevitable, these terse works are immediately comprehensible. The mechanistic pulse of loscil's music engine winds up, layer upon layer, like a series of engaging gears - giving off assembly-line precision and machine shop heat. Each piece follows a similar manufacturing process and builds up with metronomic exactitude, the variations in pulse skipping ahead of and then lagging behind the motorized beat. While the cycling of loscil's machine-like robotic advances groove deeply, looming above the factory floor are vented tremulous and wavering electronic textures which help to soften the tone and make the music seem somewhat less mechanical. Adding another, more acoustic facet to the shape of this album is the novel, however brief, appearance of soft chords played on Fender Rhodes piano as well as resonating cello notes and reverberant electric guitar plucks. These devices bring warmth and linearity to loscil's computer based loops and samples and show up in just the right measure. Still, loscil's music is based on computer software. His virtual music systems continue to transmit power and energy, but not with the mindlessness of a machine. At this work's core is a creative spirit, one exploring the perfection of technology with the flaws of humanity.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 24 June 2004