Beef Terminal Crosscheck and Departure

The Torontonian known as Beef Terminal (Mike Matheson, to friends) has been slowly but surely building credit and recognition over the years for his warm synthesis of slow-building electronics and live post-rock style instrumentation. Last year’s The Isolationist gained him more acknowledgement than ever for its comfortably restrained tempos and darkly soothing atmospherics. Crosscheck and Departure is a collection of unreleased material that spans the six years Matheson has spent refining his sound, so it’s surprising how well the album flows given the sometimes significant span of time separating the individual tracks’ respective inceptions. Most of the material here showcases Beef Terminal’s likeness for gentle, dreamy guitar patterns and gaseous soundscapes, but then he occasionally ups the intensity level on compositions like "In Control (For Now)” or pulls out more past-rooted beat-oriented numbers like "Total Destruction.” A great little stopgap of an album that’s a sure sleeper hit with fans of Polmo Polpo and other folk-tronica acts. (Worthy)