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Deupree & Marcus Fischer: Twine (12k)

Deupree appears once again on his own reliable 12k label, once again
collaborating with Portland sound artist Marcus Fischer. Twine feels
like a logical extension of the evolution of 12K’s sensibility since
its more severe, computerized beginnings. It also feels like somewhat of a distillation of the sounds they explored together on 2012’s In a Place of Such Graceful Shapes. However, instead these sounds feel more naked, natural, idyllic. To create the seven pieces on Twine,
Fischer and Deupree limited themselves to specific parameters: two
mono tape loops and four acoustic instruments. They created separate
loops of differing lengths recording quiet play of their instruments;
these provide the guts for every piece on the album.

Despite its
simple arrangements, mostly consisting of electric piano, bells, and
stringed instruments, the unpredictable layering of its loops make
these pieces refreshingly sparse but not as repetitious as it may
seem. It is certainly, however, one of the most restrained works from
Mr. Deupree yet, and Fischer’s affinity toward organic and acoustic
sounds is a perfect complement considering the direction 12K has
taken over the years. I think Twine is an album that gets better with
more listens, and it also gets better as it progresses. The patient
lilt of “Buoy,” for instance, is most satisfying after hearing
the tracks before it.

Likewise, the more melancholic “Sailmaker”
is a standout for me, but largely it succeeds by virtue of its
position amongst the rest of the album. The hands-on, human touch of
Twine reminds me a lot of contemporary Steve Roden’s early work as in
be tween noise, with a sort of makeshift, hand-made quality about it
that feels fragile and tentative at times. However, Deupree and
Fischer’s strict parameters take it a step further into even more hushed
ambience, with a delicate, pastoral beauty that feels serene and
sometimes nautical. Fans of quiet, warm instrumental listening will
find a lot to love.

Buy it: 12k | Boomkat | iTunes | Amazon