Published Mar 21, 2014Emerging from the American underground new age resurgence, which has gained steam within the last few years, modular synth wizard Matt Carlson and bass clarinettist Jonathan Sielaff have proven to be consistent at honing their singular brand of hypnotizing tunesmithery. Seer is the duo's sophomore effort for the Thrill Jockey imprint, following a handful of ultra-limited releases for micro-labels like Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's Root Strata and Burlington, Vermont's NNA Tapes. The new record finds them expanding on the melodic textures and evocative noises that emanated from previous outings.
Right off the bat, opening track "Petrichor" straps the listener down with tangled bursts of synth that could ostensibly evoke otoacoustic emissions if played at high volume. Floating clarinet melodies are attacked by processed shards of piano on the jazz-like "Sharp Stones," while pulsing frequencies upset the calm established by the lovely bird calls of "Archipelago." Both "Flight Song" and "Superposition" captivate by crossing new age mysticism with early Warp Records playfulness, the latter oscillating blissfully as it fades into silence. Seer is certainly another step towards greatness for Golden Retriever. (Thrill Jockey)