Meadow Argus - Arboreal Frippery

Released: May 14

Droney textures and strange soundscapes are the main thoroughfare for this latest released from Meadow Argus. Indeed, the sounds here are pulled from any number of sources but primarily seem to come from grainy and well-worn tapes of various sources, creating a series of collages that vary from spacey and ambient to thoroughly degraded and rough. Meadow Argus (the pseudonym of Tynan Krakoff) states that these compositions are derived primarily from a hours of compiled raw audio from a hitchhiking/trainhopping trip with his brother and considering the sounds present here, it makes quite a bit of sense. We get all kinds of otherwise nonsense sounds that stack on each other to create some intricate layers, including some very extensive pieces of monologue and dialogue peppered throughout the album. 

It is only some of the tracks that use heavy amounts of spoken word, others opt to simply use the sounds of this trip absent any human input. "Stone Bird" stands out as one of these tracks as its basis sounds like the train running of the tracks itself, though the has been deeply twisted and otherwise manipulated to leave with a weird dull roar over which all manner of other strange sounds occur. This leads us directly into the longest track on the album "Every person contains a universe." This starts out with a short piece of voice that contains musings about the nature of god, the universe writ large, and the intricacies of human consciousness. But this is only used as an introduction to the beautiful and mysterious ambient textures that fill up much of this track, as if it is attempting to unfurl the world in front of us but it only becomes more layered and intricate as it continues. 

There was one track that really stood out to me, I think just because of the extensiveness of the voices incorporated. In "Balloon," we get to be privy to a conversation between two unnamed people which is presumably about the goings-on in the neighborhood and at home. It's not particularly understandable or coherent, but something about it feels so very real and genuine, like this is a conversation that I may have found myself in the middle of at one point about nothing in particular. It's just this perfectly captured slice of life that fits in so incredibly well with the surrounding sounds. And this is why I enjoyed this album so much - because everything captured and used here is so unpolished and raw. It is put together into this rough pastiche with minimal processing, preserving the original quality of everything. It may be rough, but it is also lovely.  


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