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loscil - Clara

loscil - Clara

by Em Maslich

Every language has a way of expressing unrealities. I had been reading a collection of essays ( André Aciman’s Homo Irrealis) about place, time, and memory that centers on the irrealis mood tense: not quite the future, not quite the past. It’s in this illusory place that the latest collection from Vancouver-based musician loscil (Scott Morgan) resides. Sourced from a single three-minute composition performed by a 22-piece string orchestra in Budapest, Clara is sampled and shaped into being with a keen sensitivity. Moody and ponderous, strings swell and then recede into distances as steady rhythms ballast airy textures, and arpeggiated sequences roll and tumble until spent. Repetition allows time to find a pattern, to build, and then to dissolve. “Vespera” is a standout track and one that I’ve listened to over and over and over. Chimerical and hypnotic, the piece moves through past, present, and future in gradients, infinite in its evocations. “Sol” comes in heavy and aggressive but moves to lighter energy and fluidity. Track seven, “Aura”, is a fitting title in that its distinctive atmosphere seems to surround and define it. “Flamma”, strings flicker and feel tenuous, while “Orta” features textures that scratch and pop, while underneath pulse tones volley back and forth. The closing track, “Clara,” is a symphony tuning up before a performance: full of expectation; consonance and dissonance; a convergence of all moments leading up to it. The album's title comes from the Latin for ‘bright,” apt for that strange connection between light and time, both of which move throughout the work in shadows and currents.

loscil.bandcamp.com