Faux Pas: Entropy Begins At Home
Faux Pas

On his latest release, Melbourne-born Tim Shiel spends less time laying bare his material's sampled origins, and consequently the songs have less of a pastiche air about them. Not that Faux Feels' tracks weren't broached seriously but there appears to be a more concerted effort on Entropy Begins At Home to treat the composition as a fully-conceptualized entity. Thankfully, Shiel hasn't lost his sense of humour, imagination, or playfulness—no one will soon mistake Faux Pas for Deathprod—and the material's still wildly unpredictable. “Tema de Cristina” strolls relaxedly through a bubbly percussive electro-jungle but then encounters a boisterous street party while “Hermann's Hermans” opens with the singing flourish of a classical violin before gradually settling into off-kilter noirish breaks and Lounge Lizard-like soprano sax runs. Elsewhere, “Dorothy's Finger” pairs clavinet-fueled soul-funk with a laid-back hoedown groove that turns increasingly dada-like, flowing through a dreamily melancholic mood one moment, raucous the next. In some cases, the mini-album glances back to the oft-frenetic ambiance of Faux Feels (“Tim as a Brim”) but generally evidences a more mature style, nowhere more so than on “Water Into Wine,” a disarmingly straightforward slice of glistening electro-folk airlifted by gentle glockenspiels and blurry guitars. Though the word entropy is sometimes used to describe the amount of disorder that exists in a given system, Shiel largely contains the potential chaos of his material without sacrificing its explorative urge to wend waywardly in the process.

June 2006