Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mark Templeton + aA. Munson - Acre Loss

Mark Templeton + aA. Munson
Acre Loss
(01.2009, Anticipate)
RIYL = Geoff Mullen, Colleen, Chihei Hatakeyama

It feels kinda cheap to be reviewing solely the musical side of Acre Loss, a truly collaborative effort between Mark Templeton and aA. Munson. The project was conceived as an artistic melding of visual and audio mediums to be produced as a DVD which is supplemented with a CD of the musical tracks. As such, it only make sense that this thing is coming from Anticipate, who has already spearheaded similar projects seeking to further the marriage between the what we see and what we hear. Templeton is the audio artist here, following up his stunning debut for Anticipate, Standing On A Hummingbird, but Munson probably deserve equal credit for the music (as Templeton does for the visuals) so you’ll have to simply remember that when I reference Templeton, I reference both. Still, standing alone, the musical score for Acre Loss is transcendently gorgeous and obviously cinematic in its scope and grandeur. Unfortunately, lots of music that is currently being made can be described in those terms. The unfortunate part isn’t that there is lots of great music that is utterly beautiful and warm, glacial and imaginative, but that somehow detracts from the fact that Acre Loss is much more than that. Templeton’s work is characterized by luxurious electro-acoustic melodies textured with various electronics and found sounds along the way. It is pretty common place in terms of ambient and drone based records, but Templeton must be just that much more charming than his contemporaries because he is somehow able to coax out platinum and diamonds when everyone else is only able to get gold and crystals. And yeah, gold and crystals are great, but, sheesh, it is nothing compared to what Templeton’s got here with Acre Loss. You know what? Trying to describe just why Templeton’s tones are so good reminds me of trying to describe The Fun Years album from last year. It is just that ‘it’ factor popping up again. Something involving the purity of love with which Acre Loss has been constructed harkens all of the very best in sound sculpture. Templeton may be fairly new in terms of his output, but he is certainly plugging away with the very top tier of what is coming out right now, and what has come out in the last ten years for that matter. Absolutely essential in every respect and from the looks of what I have seen from Munson’s visual work, Acre Loss is sure to be an unparalleled achievement in terms of cross-media collaboration.

-Lil' Thistle

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