Elephant And Castle: Fading And Reincarnating
"En Memoria" actually starts off sounding more like a tUnE-yArDs song than the work of anyone else. Home-recorded vocal snippets abound, hinting at her earlier work on BiRd-BrAiNs. But as the instrumentation kicks in, longtime fans will recognize that this is not a Merrill Garbus production. Her vocals anchor the melody, but the song was composed by a fellow Oakland, Calif., experimenter: David Reep, a.k.a. Elephant and Castle.
In the way that much electronic music unfolds, "En Memoria" doesn't offer the conventional beginning-middle-end structure that's definitive of 20th-century song — instead, the tune builds, fades and reincarnates, its undeniable Disney-like qualities betraying its eventual effect. A delicate calypso stroll turns into a dim twilight wandering and, like the best children's animation, the song's pleasant ramblings overlay a hazily sinister paralanguage. The result is just one of many texturally rich, deceptively ambient, perfectly fine-tuned electronic cuts from Transitions, Reep's stunning debut.
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