Eluvium
Virga II


3.5
great

Review

by hel9000 USER (23 Reviews)
August 6th, 2021 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Matthew Cooper ventures into darker terrain on this continuation of his drone/loop album series.

Matthew Cooper’s Eluvium is one of the more generally popular ambient acts from the past couple decades, and I think that’s largely due to his crossover ready “indie classical” compositions. But he’s always demonstrated a keen ear for drone and tape loop experimentation, which he tends to explore more thoroughly on conceptual releases, like the sprawling hour-long lullaby Static Nocturne, or the different-every-listen Shuffle Drones. His latest series of albums, entitled Virga, have been his most immersive plunge into cloudy and freeform ambiance yet, replacing virtually any notion of melody with spellbinding textures borne from generative tones, loops, and synth shadowplay.

The second instalment continues this motif, but somewhat surprisingly, side A of Virga II contains Cooper’s darkest material to date. The deeply churning loops in “Hallucination I” wrap around each other in a vinelike way until the listener feels smothered, while the unsettling “Scarlet Hunter” sound like it’s cracked apart, the elements scattering into dramatic high and low sonic ranges, scraping above and softly pummeling underneath. From there, Virga II turns towards the light and crests into calmer terrain. “Touch Returned” and “Virga II” are more lightweight takes on the same foggy formula, the latter building off a classically big-hearted Eluvium chord sequence that gently closes out the record. 18 years after his debut, Cooper shows a steady hand in this mode; more than anything, it feels like his main role is to restrain the swelling drones from becoming overwhelming, adding a hint of drama to these four pieces.

A few days before the album release, Cooper shared the official video for “Virga II”, simply featuring a POV shot of someone driving down a lonesome highway at night. Never mind that before the video came out, I was going to try to mangle that exact image into my own review; it serves as a perfect metaphor for the music itself, starting as a gravelly journey through the abyss, eventually meeting the first flickers of dawn. Virga II might not change much from one minute to the next, but it’s still a worthwhile voyage.



Recent reviews by this author
Joseph Shabason The FellowshipBob Dylan Slow Train Coming
Sloping Completed SongsChuck Johnson The Cinder Grove
Biosphere Angel's FlightJesu Terminus
user ratings (14)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
hel9000
August 6th 2021


1568 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

been a while, feeling rusty, album is nice

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2021


6041 Comments


A hel9000 review!

Never gotten into Eluvium, but may to check this.

Pho3nix
August 7th 2021


1641 Comments


I'm intrigued. Should I check 'Copia' or 'Nightmare Ending' first?

DarkNoctus
August 7th 2021


12243 Comments


i liked virga i - excited to give this one a try. black swan fans will enjoy this.

"I'm intrigued. Should I check 'Copia' or 'Nightmare Ending' first?"

i wouldn't say they're all that close to this one thematically. this is an enjoyable record if you like dronier music ala stars of the lid, william basinki, black swan. the other works by eluvium focus more on ambient, piano fronted neoclassical. treat the virga works as one off records in his discography. if you want to get into eluvium's works, talk amongst the trees or copia would be great places to start.

hel9000
August 7th 2021


1568 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what Noctus said. Talk Amongst the Trees is more ambient and Copia goes into the more "modern classical" direction, and has a charming synthetic quality to it. Copia was the album that got me into ambient music so i have a particular affinity for it. False Readings On was great too

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
August 8th 2021


61307 Comments


dope, nice work as per always. dya think I'd dig this?

hel9000
August 8th 2021


1568 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks johnny, i'd say if you're curious you can just listen to a minute of each track and kind of glean the whole album from that

JS19
August 9th 2021


7777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just as good as the first, imho. Love this series

JS19
August 9th 2021


7777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also everyone should check Static Nocturne first before anything else

kevbogz
August 9th 2021


6163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

solid loops

hel9000
August 10th 2021


1568 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

for sure



and yeah Static Nocturne is wonderful, one of my favs from him



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy