Friday, September 02, 2016
Recently coming in these days was "False Readings On", the new album by Portland / Oregon-based producer Matthew Cooper, better known under his artistic moniker Eluvium to fans of genres like Ambient and PopAmbient. Having unleashed a massive stream of releases, mostly via Brooklyn's Temporary Residence Limited imprint, since 2003 we see his latest eleven track effort as well being put out via the label which has been his musical home ever since. But despite the artists well-obvious production experience and the fact that previous albums of his even have been grouped into limited, numbered collectors edition compilation boxes including seven - !!! - vinyl discs per box which tells a tale of Eluvium's music being in demand we're not necessarily awed by his latest work for a reason. Although the production value is high and the composition flawless for what it is, often incorporating angelic, non-vocal choirs and elements of Neoclassical music, we're quite repelled by the musical aspect and direction inherent in "False Readings On" as this is, with the exception of the slightly distorted skit which is the title track, what we'd like to classify as Cliche Ambient. Soft spoken, candy-coated, beatless and oozing with kitsch the whole album blurs into one treacly, streamlined mass of well-similar sonic events of which no single one sticks out as or comes across different due to certain individual characteristics. Instead, the whole album is a gently wafting pink cloud of surely comforting and soothing nature, sometimes a little esoteric even but often also well-generic and with a kind of Muzak'y twist that we can picture being on heavy rotation in pricey boutique shops around christmas time as well. If this is the kind of sound for relaxation one is looking for the 60+ minutes of "False Readings On" might cater your needs perfectly but after having listened to hundreds and hundreds of hours of Ambient music throughout our lives we're looking for things that go deeper and do trigger our braincells a little more instead of covering everything in rainbow-coloured cotton candy. Therefore, we're not signing up for this.