The songs are sparse exercises in stoicism at times, but â€“ like most Loscil recordings, it seems â€“ thereâ€™s a lot percolating beneath the surface. Perhaps less than usual â€“ but still a lot.
That appears to be the verdict for Loscilâ€™s Suns, a five-track, 30-minute EP that ruminates on and explores some of the same palette as 2016â€™s excellent Monument Builders, but is less a successor than a companion to that record. The EP is available now through Bandcamp.
Toying with concepts of restraint and desolation, Loscil ambient-soloist Scott Morgan presents listeners with soundscapes removed from his familiar flourishes, from the sun-baked opener (the droning â€œMonument Destroyersâ€) to a song that thrives off only the occasional interjection of a bass note (the eerie â€œAnimal Silenceâ€). â€œEdifice,â€ unlike its neighbors on the outing, pulses with life. But Morganâ€™s â€œreduxâ€ of Monument Buildersâ€™ â€œAnthropoceneâ€ (track four of five on Suns) is a stripped-down, elegiac bit of electronic air, arguably the EPâ€™s finest moment and far from the territory of between-LPs throw-aways. The closing â€œBeton Brutâ€ shows flashes of promise â€“ is that the sustained drone of a cello, mid-thought? â€“ but, until the closing minute or two, falls somewhat short of â€œAntropocene (Redux)â€â€™s scope.
Itâ€™s surprisingly unclear what narratives Morgan is trying to deliver or what messages heâ€™s trying to share here. The â€œvoiceâ€ â€“ though, of course, this is all instrumental, all sound-pictures — is a little opaque. There are shades of environmental decay, of course, a strong theme on Monument Builders, but, for commentary on the destruction of nature, itâ€™s seriously lacking in adornments.
All in all, Suns is a fine addition to the Loscil catalogue for those hungering for more content from the ever-moving Morgan. But, if I had my druthers, Iâ€™d stick with Monument Builders.