Review: Chubby Wolf – Turkey Decoy

Turkey Decoy is very much a portrayal of sound as an organic and largely independent entity, as though Danielle Baquet-Long need merely guide it in a general direction and watch the intricacies take place on their own accord. Sound is as water, with changes in dynamic and harmony rippling outward; grand movements blossoming and gathering momentum from the tiniest drop of kinetic energy applied to the centre.

A vast majority of the texture here arrives in complete detachment from its source. A quick glance at Baquet-Long’s instrument list reveals that guitar, voice and theremin feature somewhere in amongst the murk, although identifying any of them is a very difficult task (save for the distant choral cries of “Sushi on a Hot Day”, perhaps). The core of each of these tracks comprises of “tones”; devoid of jagged edges or attack, smothered and shaped into smooth jets by the reverb that blurs the small details. Turkey Decoy is about sound in mass – no texture works in isolation, and acts as both a consequence and a cause of the progression of other textures in close proximity.

The album is also littered with the likes of singing bowls, pianos and chimes, which appear to straddle ambient waves without ever sinking within. There’s something eerie about the presence of something so defined and familiar resting within the obscurity, but even as the steady rustle of tambourine applies a feeble “tempo” to the 10 minutes of “Rattling Mandibles”, there’s never any sense of a human player triggering these instruments. Something about the Turkey Decoy’s organic flow conjures a landscape that is devoid of human life, with the strength of the album’s ambient current providing the necessary force to brush chimes together and set piano hammers into motion.