Review Summary: Because it makes me happy.
Let’s cut the bullshi
t and get right to the meat of what makes A Taste of Silver
such a great album: the sonic engineering is utterly outstanding. In the span of five short songs, Until The Ribbon Breaks (Pete Winfield) has proven himself as one of the best young producers ever, a claim I don’t make lightly. The EP is hypnotizing, mesmerizing, enchanting, and a whole slew of similar adjectives, and the brilliant attention to detail shines front and center throughout. The piano tones are gorgeous, the quasi-industrial tinge is impressive, and everything is so highly polished that the final product positively gleams. Perhaps the most impressive part of the engineering, though, is how rich and enveloping the bass is. This is particularly true on potential song of the year “Perspective,” where the muted percussive strings isolate the bass perfectly and the end result is quite possibly one of the best grooves in recent memory.
If Lorde’s Pure Heroine
was the logical response to today’s pop music, A Taste of Silver
takes her argument to its extreme. Whereas the top-40 standard fare of today attempts to fill the void left by a long day of work over the car radio, Until The Ribbon Breaks has created an utterly hollow and gaping beast. “Pressure” is exactly that, as it sucks and fluff out of an otherwise catchy song until all that’s left is the artist’s haunting and unsettlingly edited vocals, twisted 808s and claps, morose piano, and the compressed low-end synths on the sped-up bridge. It’s a god-tier song, with nary a dull or questionable moment, and the repetitive, simplistic chords make for a beautifully sparse and fulfilling four minutes. Elsewhere, the destructive, intensely dark “Romeo” sees Winfield mourn over a desolate soundscape. “Won’t you pass me the kerosene?” he asks. “Let’s burn to the ground. You’ve been looking for meaning. Did you like what you found?”
It’s this kind of celebration of the lifeless and the hollow which ensures the livelihood of the EP. Everything on A Taste of Silver
is carefully maintained, from the melancholy atmosphere of “Back To The Stars” to the dark funk of “Perspective,” and the fact that Until The Ribbon Breaks has managed to maintain this sense of nihilism and complete control over the music at the same time is astounding, especially given this is his first-ever original release. Even the almost nonsensical, meditative rap from Homeboy Sandman fits the spirit of the release perfectly: his quasi-babbling, intensely relaxed delivery complements Winfield’s beats perfectly. However, it’s the wonderful sonic landscapes Until The Ribbon Breaks makes which gives the EP the extra push from great to incredible. Everything is so carefully and excellently placed and tweaked that it’s impossible not to be wowed by any single moment on the release. Though the recurring theme here is “I was born with my back to the stars,” Until The Ribbon Breaks reaches said heights for a glorious twenty minutes, and no one should be deprived of the opportunity to experience this wonder.