Delicate Sonic Constructions

Motion is one man, Chris Coode, and Pictures (Motion) collects a dozen of his delicate sonic constructions. A first listen will focus, no doubt, on the ephemeral nature of the sounds from which these deceptively thin compositions are made: what seem like small bells and sitar and piano appear in a slow progression. But these sounds — incorrectly identified above, no doubt — are only part of the story, because Coode intersperses them with a substantial leavening of more mysterious material. Some of these stranger sounds result, likely, from his editing of the familiar snippets — what sounds like piano is replaced with what may simply be the piano’s distant echo; what sounds like bell is overshadowed by what may be a choice split-segment of the ringing tone. A track titled “Field” opens with the sort of choral synth that might launch a house anthem, but the downbeat never arrives. Another, titled “Snapshots,” shuffles squirts of noise while a childlike melody sets the pace. And pace may be Coode’s strongest gift as a musician, the way he uses space to create surprises and associations, drama and grace.

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