Curved Light
Reversion


3.3
great

Review

by Tristan Jones STAFF
February 15th, 2017 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: homeostasis

Mastery and spontaneity rarely, if ever, coexist in full form; but, both can be conveyed to varying degrees in tandem. Reversion is the latest effort from Peter Tran (paired with visual artist Deirdre Smith: Curved Light), and continues the Texan’s efforts to pay respects to the possibilities of analog and modular synth. Whereas Curved Light’s previous efforts have a more expansive - and one might accuse, undecided - quality, Reversion is in equilibrium. It was allegedly recorded in one take, and one can’t help but wonder the disposition of a musician before a single-take effort. Maybe it's the most honest mood-to-sound conveyance possible, in which case Tran was likely on the outskirts of repose, but sustained with musical fortitude. It’s tricky to describe the emotive power in something so vaguely blissful, yet mechanical. Tran’s sound succeeds largely because it balances formidable tones with a carefree aura, carried by a wide variety of rhythms and techniques. It’s one of 2017’s first great electronic full-lengths, and makes it look easy.

Perhaps too easy, as much of Reversion’s magic is unassuming. It’s impressive that Tran was able to stack each song so delicately in one go, and they’re all the more organic for it, though one suspects little tweaks could’ve amped the quality. There are occasional missteps: the pitter-patter in the midpoint of “Test Selection” is a bit irritating, though short-lived; the meandering synths at the end of “Collapsing Reflection” have the melodic identity crisis of an amateur bagpiper; the triplet in “Disquiet” is questionably similar to part of the Stranger Things opening theme. These are mostly fleeting quibbles, though, as the majority of Reversion is captivating. Highlight “Blush Response” evokes futuristic-ancient folklore (think early-gen Final Fantasy) and a lush, sprawling forest, in which Tran seems to be ascending to utter zen. Even relatively tame numbers like “Absent Empathy” are texturally fascinating, with undulating drones segueing into catchy bass lines, and synths that descend like a much-needed rain fall. This is the type of album that could be completely different with each rendition, and, coincidently, this current version could be interpreted a bit differently with each visit. Upon an eight listen (or ninth or tenth or whatever), many of the above descriptions could be supplanted by new ones. Hopefully that’s a good thing, and testament to Curved Light's MO.




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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2017


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

https://curvedlight.bandcamp.com/album/reversion

EliteTaste
February 14th 2017


1067 Comments


"Mastery and spontaneity rarely, arguably if ever, truly coexist"
tbh this really devalues the works of the cardews and cages and sugimotos of the world (and in my eyes, does so rather unfairly), but idk, it seems to fit in with the rest of the review. it bothers me a bit (due to that awkward dichotomy type thing) tbh, but that aside, good writes as per.

p.s. free modpack

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2017


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

""Mastery and spontaneity rarely, arguably if ever, truly coexist"

tbh this really devalues the works of the cardews and cages and sugimotos of the world"

- tbf I would argue that Cage has never truly released a masterpiece, but that's another argument. i could maybe add "... in full form" if that makes my point better. i feel like something is always gonna be compromised in that balance

EliteTaste
February 14th 2017


1067 Comments


I mean, the "truly" seems qualifying enough, but it remains problematic so far as it inadvertently renders improvisation and "experiments indeterminate" a kind of artistic futile. in many ways, i see such a statement as more of an opine than a justification, which perhaps saves it from being entirely incredulous (in my eyes), but idk. it just feels a bit uncomfortable.

EliteTaste
February 14th 2017


1067 Comments


it kinda flirts with the memetic "nihilism" that has become so in vogue

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2017


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

idk I'm kinda just a stinker

EliteTaste
February 14th 2017


1067 Comments


I'm smelling cheap deodorant and alcohol tbh

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2017


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

yours? I only smoke dank nugs

EliteTaste
February 15th 2017


1067 Comments


yeah it probs me
i ain't into the brain-growing herb

TheBarber
February 15th 2017


3508 Comments


Can I dance to this?

Digging: Fun - Szklarska Poreba

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
February 15th 2017


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

it's not super beat-driven but in places yeah you probably could (?)

Chortles
February 15th 2017


20370 Comments


this sounds coooooo

Sinternet
February 15th 2017


13831 Comments


So what actually is this?

Digging: Valerie June - The Order Of Time

VirtualBlaze
February 15th 2017


524 Comments


Yeah, I can't really gather what the album sounds like from this review. Is it ambient? Experimental?

Digging: Mac DeMarco - This Old Dog

ShitsofRain
February 15th 2017


7944 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

bookmarked

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
February 15th 2017


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

it's analog and modular synth BS. check the embedded track but yeah

Ryus
February 15th 2017


14338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice they quoted this review on their bandcamp

Digging: DJ Sports - Modern Species

Ryus
February 15th 2017


14338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i'm digging this a lot

EliteTaste
February 15th 2017


1067 Comments


i found this quite #uninspired tbh

EliteTaste
February 15th 2017


1067 Comments


like i'd probably rate a 1 but i don't wanna tank the average for an album johnald has reviewed



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