Tapes and Topographies | Ubiquitous Clouds
On the rare full-moon Friday the 13th of September 2019 Tapes and Topographies released their lucky seventh album care of Simulacra Records. Long-diminishing echoes pulse to give the title track a radar-like current. Confident yet tender key strokes illuminate the soft drone as silvery lining. From the get-go, a serene invitation to surrender while absorbing Ubiquitous Clouds…
An aquatic ripple deeply serenades in subtlety through To Find Your Imperfection. It’s as if from the first track to the second, the clouds have condensed and a gentle surf is at the listeners toes. Enter synthesized string arrangements in The Color That You Bring. The use of the second person here grafts the music into a projected reflection. This examination breaks into the piano rustle and condensed imagistic vignette of Starfish in the Frost until the turn is set and a ‘we’ are full of drama doses throughout the album. Beside You I Was Petrified clarifies a stillness, a speechlessness and a detachment from any ‘you’ for the remainder of the album.
Jean Cocteau’s poem serves as the literary reference for track six. The structure of The Angel Heurtebise emulates that which was put forth prior with the frosted starfish. If there is a compounded message within this referential ‘bottle’ it lay within the five-stanzas of the confrontational poetry. The heavens and an author in certain conflict.
It is only with this contentious subtext established that specific settings are established. Waterbury Clock Company unto Amsterdam Station (where the ‘I’ – our narrator – sits to weep) unto People’s Park. And if the mist in my eyes and sorrow empathized within my heart upon the completion of the album is any indicator, the time alone spent conceptualizing Ubiquitous Clouds was relaxing on the surface but successfully emotive. They say, ‘still waters run deep’ and Tapes and Topographies, with these nine tracks, evokes – if wearily – profound sensations. The motif of loss is left nondescript. In the ambiance the recollection of some shadowy relationship – one which particularly pervades and surrounds – bringing forth catharsis.