Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Endless Change of Colour by Marsen Jules & Faint by Taylor Deupree

Marsen Jules dips into Brian Eno's toolbox for Endless Change of Colour, his latest album for 12k, and a fine example of his brand of "modern ambience." Jules took a single phrase of an (unnamed) jazz tune and split it into three brief, offset, looping phrases that interweave over the course of a single, 47-minute track. (The Eno to which I refer is Discrete Music.)

Contrary to the title's implied temporal passage, Endless gives me the sense being in a world where time has stopped (I'm glad I wrote that before reading on Jules' website how the work was created) and sunlight has a tremulous solidity that's balanced just on this side of stridency. Again I can't help but compare Endless to Eno, this time Lux. Whereas Eno's Lux gives the sensation of thousands of uniquely lit jeweled facets, Endless is a continuum, a bell that rings continuously despite never having been struck.

Endless will not appeal to everyone. It's ambience at its minimalist best, just bordering on drone. The interplay of these three arrested musical moments creates a tension as you wait to be released from this trap, for time to start moving again. Whether you're reading, programming, or just relaxing, Jules' Endless Change of Colour provides a beautiful sonic palette.

To give you a little taste of Endless, here's a video with Jules and Anders Weberg.

You can learn more about Jules at his website,

Also from 12k comes Faint by Taylor Deupree.  Faint consists of five tracks (Negative Snow 9:37, Dreams of Stairs 11:13, Thaw 11:34, Shutter 8:48, and Sundown 12:40) with guitar contributions by Cameron Webb.

As compared to the stoppage of time in Jules' Endless, Deupree's Faint presents a sense of immediacy - not one of urgency but rather a sense of being in the moment. Through his use of electronics, tape loops, found sounds, noise, and other unidentifiable effects he creates a sonic yet natural landscape that evokes the sensation of a solitary early morning stroll through the woods. His dreamlike electronics surround you with a peaceful aura while the sounds and effects are guideposts that ground you to reality and keep you from getting lost.

Faint is definitely something I'd listen to primarily in the early morning when time is intimate, light is cool, and I need a quiet companion for my stroll to wakefulness.

Update: Here's a link to Deupree's website.

12k's entire catalog can be found online at

I received no compensation of any kind for these reviews.

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