Published Oct 21, 2016A recurring theme in Canadian art is that of being caught between American and British influences. Torontonian Carson Teal's debut EP might be thought of in these terms, as it evokes UK stalwarts like Boards of Canada's ambient trip-hop and Burial's murkier textures (minus the two-step beats), as well as the skittering but spacious rhythms of the L.A. beat scene (Nosaj Thing, Shlohmo). His visual art training and membership in Toronto's Bedroomer Collective also explain some of the sounds here.
The Bedroomer Collective is a group of producers and musical artists generally focused on dreamy, experimental electronic dance music, though there are at least as many sub-genres as there are individual artists. Carson Teal seems to be on the more abstract and dreamy side of things, with no vocals and quite minimal beats. His strength lies in his icy, digital sound design.
While Teal's training as a visual artist has certainly given him a knack for form and texture, his work with music (a movement-based art form) seems to lack a bit of direction. Even with an abstract project like Boards of Canada, where hooks aren't really the goal, there's still a feeling that stays with you after the record stops. Carson Teal's dreaminess might be too dreamy, as his compositions tend to evaporate from memory, like a dream upon waking, once they're gone from your speakers.
If he can get some more enriching collaborations, remixes and live shows under his belt, Teal will be fully ready for a stellar full-length. As it is though, this EP provides textural bliss for its running time. (Bedroomer)