Quite a good run for the Kranky label of late, with a bunch of albums I’ve enjoyed a lot from Ken Camden, Jonas Reinhardt and Disappears. For the past week or so, though, I’ve been really taken with “Endless Falls” by Loscil, discreetly asserting itself as maybe the pick of the bunch.

Quite a good run for the Kranky label of late, with a bunch of albums I’ve enjoyed a lot from Ken Camden, Jonas Reinhardt and Disappears. For the past week or so, though, I’ve been really taken with “Endless Falls” by Loscil, discreetly asserting itself as maybe the pick of the bunch.



Loscil, it transpires, is the work of a guy from Vancouver called Scott Morgan, who also purportedly drums for Dan Bejar’s indie band, Destroyer. If Wikipedia is to be believed, “Endless Falls” is something like his eighth album, though while the name’s vaguely familiar, I can’t actively recall hearing any of his previous music.

I should probably fix that, because “Endless Falls” is a hugely beguiling record. There are elements here that aren’t, to be honest, immediately appealing: the slightly corny sleeve image of raindrops on windscreen; the affinities with a certain school of crypto-classical music, which encompasses plenty of stuff that I like (Max Richter, say, some of Johann Johannsson’s early work) but also a good few things I’m less keen on, which have the whiff of Sigur Ros about them (some of Johann Johannsson’s more recent work, for a start); a somewhat self-conscious last track.

And, yes, the title track does start with heavy rain and sombre violins, but stick with this one. Soon enough, Loscil starts moving into more abstract, ambient territory, where beats and crackle prove subtly dominant. Some tracks, like the superb “Lake Orchard”, for instance, are close in spirit and substance to Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas, and consequently wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Kompakt’s “Pop Ambient” comps.

Other pieces, such as “Shallow Water Blackout”, “Showers Of Ink” and “Dub For Cascadia”, remind me more of a Jan Jellinek or Farben album from the early Noughties, or something from the same period on Mille Plateaux. It’s a tremendously engaging take on minimalism, and when the classical aspirations occasionally recur, they’re gently diced up in a manner which recalls, perhaps, Murcof’s digital attempts to reconfigure the sacred spaces of Arvo Part.

Finally, there’s “The Making Of Grief Point”, which features some more impressive looming music, but also the (deliberately?) portentous pensées of Dan Bejar. Far be it from me to criticise someone for pretention, but I’m not entirely convinced that Morgan’s music is improved by having someone awkwardly intone, “I have lost interest in music: it is horrible,” and “The answer to the making of grief point is picnic baskets filled with blood,” over the top of it. At least he had the sense to pack the track away at the back.