Fieldhead: A Correction (Gizeh)
Achingly gorgeous instrumental interplay between Paul Elam’s electronic arrangements and violinists Elaine Reynolds and Sarah Kemp. The cover art shows a bleak, snowed in landscape, hazy with diffused light and a chilly cold, and the music somehow follows suit — except that rather than feeling bleak, there’s something warm and centered in these pieces. As each track unfolds, it reveals its own personal tragic beauty in a different way. “812 Keefer” threatens to unravel completely, tense with what sounds like disintegrating decay, while “A Correction” has a more regular groove within which every sound seems tentative and fragile. “Stolen” is a shivering cycle of looped strings and effects, creating a haze not unlike that of the stark cover art. “Northern Canada” is a fitting end to the release, combining Elam’s knack for crinkly, subtle electronics and beats with his players’ strings, lending it an aching, yearning feeling as it comes to a close. It has the starkness of folk music without words, but still getting across something so completely human in its electronic assemblage. Winter listening at its best.