Winter is the most fitting season for Deupree's music, a distinctive blend of cold, sparse spaces mixed with warm, melodic passages. Faint is no different, an album consisting of five long pieces that capture the stillness of nature, the coldness of electronics, and the warmth of organic instrumentation.
The two opening pieces, "Negative Snow" and "Dreams of Stairs," put an extra emphasis on the sometimes hidden but always gorgeous melodic elements of Deupree's sound. "Negative Snow" initially hides amongst what sounds like a slowly rushing river and small, delicate noise fragments that twitter about. Eventually an organic, almost breathing melody comes out of the abstraction, adding a human warmth to an otherwise cold piece.
Taylor employs some unidentifiable clattering object as a textural element on "Dreams of Stairs," is mixed with insinuated guitar and fragile xylophone like tones. There is a sense of spaciousness that pervades, even as it builds up to a slightly more forceful conclusion, but for the most part it comes across like a warm, misty morning.
"Thaw" and "Sundown" instead choose to showcase the textures rather than the melodies. The former is a slowly expanding wall of sound that is more static and drifting than the sounds Deupree usually works with, resulting in a meditative, frozen piece of music. "Sundown" opens with a droning, organ like passage that again channels a vast expanse, aided by quiet, crackling textures that stay very minimal throughout. Infinitely stretching tones rise and fall at differing intervals, but help close the otherwise sparse piece in a dramatic swell of sound.
Between is a single track performance recorded on a recent tour of Japan, with Deupree alongside Simon Scott, Corey Fuller, Marcus Fischer, and Tomoyoshi Date, all artists that compliment one another, but each take their own direction in terms of sound. Working with a combination of electric and stringed instruments, the amount of caution and restraint used by each performer is admirable: sounds are kept hushed and quiet, each conveying a sense of intimacy as if being in the room as the recordings were taking place.
Droning tones meld with minimal percussive pings, sounding neither like a traditional instrument nor a random sound, but somewhere in between. At times a ghostly melody, at other times a found object scrape become the focus, with attention slowly drifting between the two. The latter half brings in a bit more electronic instrumentation, mixed with the delicate, natural textures of before. The little clicks and pops that spring up are reminiscent of elements of the so-called Lowercase sound, but here they compliment a soft melodic drift rather than a cold passage of electronic music.
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