Album Review: Gilded -Terrane

11 October 2012 | 10:26 am | Christopher H James

Terrane is finely balanced and reveals something new with each listen.

Two old hands, post-rock deconstructor Adam Trainer and ambient guru Matt Rosner, have come together to form something new as Gilded. Whilst clearly not setting out to reinvent the wheel of experimental music, the merging of their two sympathetic skill sets – Trainer's versatility as a musician and Rosner's perceptive ear for texture and detail – have staked out a previously undefined sector of the map.

Trainer has described this record as having a “summer” vibe to it, and many parts of it certainly radiate warmth; an atmosphere augmented by closely-observed field recordings of insects clicking in the pulsating heat. The science of applying such supplementary sound effects is done in a delicate way that accents, rather than distracts from, the vital essence of the many carefully arranged instruments. Although, on Expand/Contract the groaning of the steel beams of a warehouse structure warping as the temperature changes arguably take centre stage over the chiming piano and vapour trail of barely-there vocals.

As complex as the final product is, there's never any clutter. The value of silence, or at least near silence, is not forgotten as each element is allowed ample space in which to breathe. As a whole, Terrane is finely balanced and reveals something new with each listen. What's most impressive though, is that despite the long gestation and complex configuration of elements, the music always sounds fresh. Recorded over two summers, one might have expected the odd, overly studio-processed flat spot. That never happens on a journey into sound that ripples with life at every turn.