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Scott Taylor
Five Dreams for Sleepers (Conv) CDr

 As its title suggests, this release by UK sound artist, Scott Taylor, is a quietly dreamlike affair, full of subtle textural shifts and evocative soundworlds, but it’s not always a restful one. As even an inveterate insomniac such as myself knows, dreams are rarely pastoral journeys through sweetness and light, and the most pleasant sleepytime journey has an undercurrent of the uncanny and strange. Taylor’s drifting, oneiric music has a similar tension flowing beneath its lovely, placid surface that makes it so intriguing. This is Taylor’s fifth full-length release, but it’s my first exposure to his music. He works primarily with field recordings, which he layers and processes into thickly atmospheric, yet engagingly melodic pieces. At times the sounds are relatively easy to identify (voices, the clank and whirr of an elevator, a distant choir), but more often they are processed into atmospheric abstraction. All the pieces on this beautiful CDr have very specific spatial qualities to them, with each sound placed with architectural precision into the overall soundscape. Unlike most successful ambient music, it’s difficult to simply bathe in the sounds, since Taylor is likely to pull you out of your auditory reverie and bring you crashing into the concréte with a delicately jarring snippet of field recording. Though quite beautiful, Five Dreams for Sleepers is not likely to lull you to sleep, which makes it a more compelling listen.

 

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