Alex Cobb – Marine Layer (Shelter Press)
After shedding the Taiga Remains moniker and debuting the supreme Passage To Morning in 2012 under his own name on Students Of Decay (the label Cobb runs), Alex has returned with his second full length under his new name and it’s a motherfucking champion of tender drone. This dude conjures next level sounds out of his guitar à la Stars Of The Lid, super soft and precise tonal shifts that exude warmth & emotion, and it’s all done live sans synths, heavenly minimalism subtly penetrating the dark crusty core of your heart that’s reserved for only the most intimate of moments, majestic & goddamn glorious without being overbearing or overwhelming, this is a perfectly balanced reserved euphoria, organically turning the surrounding sterile atmosphere into a peaceful familiarity. Best of the fucking best. Only 500 copies from one of my new favorites, Shelter Press.
Alex Cobb – The Body Is The Mirror (Low Point)
Alex Cobb (aka Taiga Remains, aka Students Of Decay head) and Aquarelle (aka Ryan Potts, aka Rest & Noise dude, aka creator of the magnificent Sung In Broken Symmetry) have teamed up for a tragically overlooked split from last year. It’s a bit on the short side but every moment is sheer beauty, with slow tones and resonant drones, smooth Stars Of The Lid stylings, delicate clicks & plucks of electronics & guitars, and devastatingly gorgeous golden glimmering static. It starts out with two of Cobb’s tracks, one a short hushed minimal piece, the second more aligned with Aquarelle and sounds like it could even be a collaboration between the two, with Cobb’s processed guitar blending into a quiet pink noise. Pay attention because this is how real splits are made. Aquarelle’s side long piece is much like the work on his last record, incredibly euphoric and overwhelmingly dynamic. Like an evening at the beach watching the sun set as the surf & salty air take turns dazzling your senses. It seems like he’s got a little formula worked out for his sound, with walls of bliss exploding when you least expect it, but it’s like the golden ratio, it’s perfect, don’t fuck with it. Just enjoy it while it lasts.