Nov 2011 15

Loscil - Coast/Range/ArcLoscil
Category: Ambient / Drone
Album: Coast/Range/Arc
Stars: 2
Blurb: Loscil’s Coast/Range/Arc feels as slow and endless as the lifetimes of the coastal mountains that inspired it.


In the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the astronauts encounter a cryptic monolith to an ambient score of eerie vocal and instrumental sounds that provoke a feeling of fearful urgency and awe. While that image is your mind, now subtract the voices and the urgency and instead include drones, static, and some natural sounds that last for up to 10 minutes at a time and vary only ever so slightly. You are now listening to Loscil’s Coast/Range/Arc. Loscil albums tend to have themes, and this one is supposed to be “the coastal mountains of the Pacific Northwest.” Well, Loscil’s mastermind, Scott Morgan definitely captured the timelessness and the agonizingly slow evolution of the landscape. It’s almost as if, through his compositions, he’s managed to take time and stretch every second into infinity, turning every breath into a painful wait until the next inhale.

Coast/Range/Arc is dull and difficult to listen to. Minimal, though intricately complex, it is the type of audio art that 98% of the audience won’t understand and 2% will think is brilliant. With constant drones and limited variation, it really only makes sense if you read the description of what you’re supposed to get out of it. Then you will nod and say to your artistic friend, “Yes, I too can see the powdery snow billowing in the wind as it scatters from the mountain top.” It is not relaxing. It’s not inspirational. It’s mostly just very, very slow.

Morgan’s motivation for the latest Loscil album was the infinitely patient and ageless mountains. He captured this deliberate pace quite admirably, turning 54 minutes of music into a drone that never ends. If only his audience could have the same sort of fortitude, he’d be a star.

Track list:

  1. Black Tusk
  2. Fromme
  3. Stave Peak
  4. Névé
  5. Brohm Ridge
  6. Goat Mountain

Loscil Website
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Glacial Movements Website
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Glacial Movements

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Charity VanDeberg (CharityV)

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