186,000 Endings Per Second
An appetizer for the projected summer release of Josh Varnedore's Seachild full-length, 186?,?000 Endings Per Second presents twenty-six minutes of heartfelt and expansive electronica in tried-and-true Dynamophone fashion. The title track begins with sparkling keyboards and the soft murmur of Lucé Cupery's speaking voice before a bass melody enters, marshalling around it additional forces such as percussion, strings, handclaps, and the angelic vocalizing of Rebecca Coseboom. The song's uplifting tone is very much reminscent of Sigur Rós, but Varnedore personalizes the material with a kaleidoscopic arrangement that downplays guitars for a rich blend of voices, keyboards, and synthetics—more Ulrich Schnauss than Sigur Rós, in other words. A glockenspiel traces an opening pathway into “Black Sand,” which then builds in intensity as a drum pattern and stately guitar theme move to the forefront. As it does elsewhere, a post-rock quality subtly emerges, tipping the balance slightly away from electronica in the pure sense. At EP's end, the becalmed meditation “Golden (Beacon)” paints a beautifully sonorous landscape dotted with ambient guitar shadings, piano accents, atmospheric tinkles, and Fonta Hadley's ethereal exhalations. If the release sounds like quintessential Dynamophone, it's no surprise that it does, given the involvement of Evan Sornstein (who added clarinet to one piece and also helped out with mixing), Ryan Coseboom (mixing too), and Rebecca Coseboom, all of whom have contributed in one way or another to many of the label's releases. But, as he's the composer, arranger, and instrumentalist responsible for the debut EP's dreamscapes, it's ultimately Varnedore's voice that rings out most of all, and it's a voice that promises much, based on the material presented.