*Excerpts from the album now available at Experimedia.net* In shedding his previous Taiga Remains moniker, Alex Cobb has stripped down his music to its most bare, elemental qualities. And "Passage to Morning" is all the better for it: its mix of slow motion wonder and hazy submersion occupies and tantalizes your mind even in its quietest moments. But this is not simply meditative music – the album's active, enveloping timbres ring out across wide expanses and often veer between shades of dissonance and bouts of tenderness. Cobb's tools are not entirely dissimilar from many in the ambient milieu – effected electric guitar, string samples, tape loops, etc – but the end result is a sound that feels exempt from many recent trends and methodologies. In fact, the exact instruments are frequently difficult to determine, but these autumnal drones could only be sourced, processed and perfected from a hand as deft and experienced as Cobb's. - Ryan Potts, Experimedia
Composed and labored over for many months between 2009-2011, “Passage to Morning” is the first full-length Alex Cobb has released since Taiga Remains’ well-received “Wax Canopy” (Digitalis, 2009). Sonically however, the two records could not be more dissimilar, with “Passage to Morning” recalling more the meditative guitar minimalism of “Ribbons of Dust,” his prior release for the Root Strata label. Here, glacially moving, eternally receding drones sourced from strings, tape loops and analog synthesizer are the order of the day, expertly arranged into succinct and imminently listenable compositions. Comparisons made of Cobb’s previous recordings to Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann’s work as Mirror prove particularly apt here, as “Passage to Morning” trades in the same sort of devotional, faraway sound design for which the pair have been justly praised. “The Immediate Past” opens the record, with billowing, lulling tones hanging thick in the air like a struck bell frozen in time. Later, “Bewildered by its Blue” juxtaposes deep, brooding low-end tones with crackling tape noise and truly hypnotic cycles of analog synthesizer. That this is Cobb’s first full-length under his own name is no coincidence, as here he offers us his most intimate recordings to date.
LP edition of 300.
The Immediate Past
The Habit Body
Bewildered by its Blue
All music by Alex Cobb
Performed on electric guitar, analog synthesizer, singing bowl, tapes and electronics
Cover photo by Miwa Kondoh
Originally mastered by Andreas Nordenstam
Mastered for vinyl by James Plotkin
Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering
Students of Decay
Distributed by Experimedia Ltd.