loscil: Sea Island
loscil produces standout creations in the already quite full field of laptop based album construction. However, Scott Morgan is no man in the spotlight. More a radiation of ambitious messaging his work as loscil convincingly changes the alliance between man and machine, as he seems to have remarkably united the two. The core of his gritty Sea Island (73’03”) is found where a meaning and a music are knit together with masterful finesse. The CD’s 11 tracks are like sensory routes. Denied context we are left to create our own. Utilizing an alternating variety of grainy, cloudy, synthesized and digital sounds Morgan clearly has no trouble in manufacturing the vividly breathing and softly pulsing pieces that inhabit Sea Island. Its tempos, moods and subjects are intertwined, covering an array of territories despite the uniformity of the tonic note and key. The tone or atmosphere in which Sea Island has been cast seems to become defined about midway through – as a wordless female vocal provides an affecting repose from the earlier muted machine patterns and beats. Along with voice here Morgan’s sound sense also includes the judicious use of piano, Rhodes, violin and vibes. Here and there a few jagged notes have been thrown in, as well as a confident leaping two-note figure, which reminds us that sometimes loscil’s output wrestles with itself. His experimentation could have gone dangerously astray, but Morgan shows confidence – moving in an exact direction from chapter to chapter. Sea Island rewards multiple plays, which may be necessary if we are to find our way past its sense of displacement.