Sean Byrne deals in shades of subtle texture on his latest as Bugskull. His return album for Digitalis, sees the veteran producer layering gleaming streaks of noise amongst pastoral guitars, harmonicas, sax loops and in some cases primly chugging lines of bass. The result is Collapsed View, a train ride headphone trip that pulses through lush hills and dilapidated city centers alike with your eyes always squinting in the sun. Shades of transistor static and synth texture give the album a light Radiophonic feel but it never gets too heavy into the workshop sound experiments, rather it solders them onto its pulsing circuits and lets them break in every so often to crack at the odd beauty that Byrne has crafted in his electronic terrarium. The most intriguing aspect of Collapsed View is the carefully plotted sequencing, the character that's imposed on the album and makes it feel as if a flip book journey that was poured over to make it all work out just right. Byrne has obviously taken pains to not only craft each track as a standalone piece but as a larger component of Collapsed View and as such it remains hard to escape the album's pull once you've pressed play. But that's kind of the best problem to have, don't you think?

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posted by dissensous at 10:06:00 AM


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