An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death

Temporary Residence

An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death is the sound of an artist doing a stylistic 180. Matthew Cooper’s debut outing as Eluvium was awash in the trappings of shoegaze and endless pink noise. Grand and epic though it was, the result felt aimless and unfocused at times. For this sophomore release, Cooper packs away all instruments, save a baby grand piano, and turns in compositions that are delicate and melancholy, wounded and sweet.

Cooper’s bass-end rhythms are the driving force behind these songs, exercising complete control over any attempt at overt melody from the right hand. The album retains a cyclical motion that’s nearly impossible not to get caught up in. “Napenthe” has a limping, off kilter arrangement that manages to shine through its stunted development. “In a Sense” recalls the autumnal genius of Vince Guaraldi at a half-time pace. It’s impressive stuff and quite a ballsy move for an ambient artist.

As as aside, I’m not usually one to address an album’s cover art, but the drawings by Jeannie Lynn Paske are truly a thing of beauty, like Maurice Sendak or Sam Keith at microscopic level. They alone are probably worth the price of this disc.

Temporary Residence: http://www.temporaryresidence.com

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