Taiga II: Flora Chor
Conspiracy Records

Isis and Red Sparowes associate Bryant Clifford Meyer takes a surprising left turn in his Taiga project by trading in guitar-spiked malevolence for ambient-drone drift. In texture-heavy material that suggests Popol Vuh and Stars of the Lid as kindred spirits, Meyer offers a nuanced and oft-pastoral alternative to the volatility of his other projects. To their credit, the album's nine lush tapestries are hardly one-dimensional riffs on a single style; instead, Flora Chor presents a multi-varied program that touches down in multiple zones; it almost sounds as if Meyer purposely set out to take each piece into a place slightly different from the others. Interestingly too, Flora Chor isn't made up of long-form collossi but rather compact drone miniatures that shimmer and swirl for four minutes and then gently move aside.

“Taiga 2 = Narcissus” opens the album with guitar shadings slowly sweeping across the skies, after which “September = Dafodil” overlays a rumbling space drone with surprisingly untreated gothic piano dramatics and “ARP Akai = Plumeria” presents a fireworks display of hyperactive synthesizer burble. “Freefone = Plumeria” depicts a pastoral, kalimba-driven oasis where the low, throaty murmur of a male choir hums, and the immersive, cloud-drenched bluster of “Abyss = The Orchid” makes one think of Stars of the Lid taken to an even further peyote-fueled extreme. Other settings feature sitar-like plucks and tinkling bells (“Zennia = Zennia”), sunblinded synthesizer radiance (“Kaos Freq = Kinnikinnick”), and swirls and smears of harmonium-styled drone (“Shruti = Manzanita”). For the vinyl connoisseur, Taiga's mesmerized meditations comes in three vinyl incarnations: dark green-transparent mixed (75 copies), dark blue-transparent mixed (100), and standard black (325).

November 2010