Mark Templeton: Sea Point

Maybe Mark Templeton should release all of his music on vinyl rather than CD, given how splendidly the 12-inch presentation of Sea Point captures the textural detail that's so much at the heart of his electroacoustic music-making. The A-side's three tracks are taken from Templeton's Inland, while the flip presents three new pieces, all produced immediately after the album.

Inland's closing track, “Beginnings,” opens the release with Templeton's signature acoustic plucks embedded within a floating, rather psychedelic mass of voices and fuzz. “Sleep In Front Of” takes the listener on a jaunty trek through a hazy field of speckled crackle, hand bells, guitars, and vocal musings. In “At Your Feet,” waves of distorted electric guitar strokes bleed alongside an anchoring guitar pattern and drum colourations. The three new tracks don't deviate radically in style from the previously issued material, though that's not a complaint. “Increasing By Numbers” drapes the shudder, pluck, and strum of multi-tracked guitar fragments across static-inflected masses that shimmer and sparkle in turn, while, in “Traditional Instruments,” a violin's saw is almost buried under a blanket of textures melded from electric guitar and electronic crackle.

In all cases, there's an ample amount of restless activity in play at any given moment, despite the fact that the pieces themselves are overall peaceful, even bucolic in spirit, and Templeton, as he's done in the past, presents his material so that a precarious balance between structure and looseness is accommodated in equal measure during the EP's twenty-three minutes.

November 2009