Leaves Eclipse the Light/The Motion Makes Me Last

Rating: 3.0/5.0, 2.5/5.0

Label: Temporary Resistance Limited

2010 was a busy year for Eluvium (aka. Matthew Cooper), as he released his stellar album Similes, a self-released “mini-album” (it’s 50-minutes long!) and two EPs, Leaves Eclipse The Light and The Motion Makes Me Last. Each EP boasts a similar structure to one another; they are composed of one song and one remix from the aforementioned Similes, plus one or two brand new tracks. Though each EP has its weaknesses, specifically each contain the previously released first two tracks of Similes, the unreleased tracks are a true highlight, taking bits and pieces of Eluvium’s discography so far and melding them with the style that made Similes so damn addictive.

On their remix of “The Motion Makes Me Last,” Four Tet adds a pounding, bottomed-out bass line to drive along the choppy, faded piano chords originally provided by Cooper. Falling in at just under eight minutes, it’s a gorgeous, wandering soundscape that plays as a nice extension of Eluvium’s established, dreamy sound. Similarly, the “Leaves Eclipse the Light” remix, provided by the Books’ Nick Zammuto, adds a heavy guitar line and dub-step electronics, adding some welcome weight to the flighty, echoing original. The brevity of Zammuto’s remix and the heft of Four Tet’s work well together, despite falling on separate EPs.

Though the remixes provide some interesting moments on each EP, the real draw here is in the new Eluvium tracks. “A Life in Tides Less Current,” which falls on the Leaves EP, is a shockingly gorgeous slow-burn, reminiscent of 2005’s Talk Amongst the Trees. Multiple layers and loops of feedback, found sound, chiming blips and reversed guitar collide with one another, creating messy moments of transition that suddenly synch with one another. “Remnant Signals” is a more methodical practice in restraint, creating a bleak, cold atmosphere from its hollow synth foundation. In contrast to that, “Crash Deconstructed” calmly builds up echoing piano to a post-rock finish with a big sound and big emotional effect. These are stand-alone tracks though and they feel out of place, crowded by songs that could be considered insignificant filler.

In the big scheme of all things Eluvium, Leaves and Motion are pretty minor releases. Leaves offers up a little more bang for your buck with the Four Tet remix and the 10 minute “A Life in Tides Less Current,” but neither EP is worth rushing out for. They offer up some new, intriguing constructions from Cooper and the remixes are a fun addition, but the choppy nature of putting together an assortment of remixes, previously released and unreleased tracks takes away from the fluidity that we have come to love and expect from full-length Eluvium records. `

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