Loscil – Triple Point

Triple Point

This is some trippy, trippy stuff. I really didn’t know what to expect from loscil, and I have to admit that I was a bit thrown for a loop by the project’s one-sheet. *Ahem* …And I quote:
“The album is based on the concepts of thermodynamics, the physical science which investigates the conversion of heat into mechanical force or energy or vice versa.”
Of course, being the eternal pessimist that I am, I figured I was in way over my head for this review. Pleasantly enough, though, I found Triple Point to be an interesting listen.
The loscil project is actually Vancouver’s Scott Morgan, who uses samplers, synths, effects, and computer programming to piece together loscil’s output. The sounds on Triple Point are very sparse and rhythmic to the point of hypnoticism, droning on with slight synth bass sounds and a scattering of effects that sound like they were brushed on the recording with a feather duster.
The key to loscil is definitely its minimalism. If Triple Point was overloaded with effects, the slow, methodic drone of these compositions wouldn’t seem so enchanting or so able to lull the mind into droning along. If the lulling drones were any louder, they would establish too much dominance over the simple, hushed synth bass pieces, which would kill the incredible boost the bass tone gives to the already mind-consuming lull of the basic track.
Everything works in cycles on Triple Point, where every recording is only this good because of the restraint Morgan showed in mixing the individual elements together. The disc doesn’t actually feature a whole lot of ‘beats,’ per se, which makes these compositions incredibly laid back. Only the album’s final track, “Absolute,” deviates from the somewhat mellow mood created, as it seems to musically represent the actual physical conversion of heat to energy. The track’s ominous buzz comes across to the ears much more forceful than it actually is, thanks to the atmosphere created by the rest of these tracks.
I’ve already spent quite a few productive hours reading or writing while listening to Triple Point, and it also makes great music to just lay back to. I wish loscil would’ve put this disc out six years ago, as it might’ve helped make college a less stressful experience for me. I’m imagining that once I actually get off my lazy duff and study up on the scientific terminology that makes up the track titles, I’ll better understand the relationships between the tracks. Until then, my scientific ignorance and I are perfectly content to just enjoy the sonic marvel that is Triple Point. Two thumbs up, with a twist, a kiss, and a Sprite on the side.