Review: Talk West – Canyon Lip

Talk West - Canyon LipI imagine a water mill, rusted but still operational; its movement a sequence of lurches and tiny stalls, and its age accumulating in unoiled song sidling out of the turbine, seeping between the droplets of guitar that tumble off the paddles. Each repetition gathers up a greater strain, and friction thickens as the mill hauls up denser masses of warm drone and white noise foam – its melody is increasingly more laboured but no less assured, and while the little tilts in direction begin to disappear beneath a sound heaving in every direction simultaneously, the sense of repetition is always potent, like a loop of film collecting imperfection and erosion with each recurrence.

All of this came to mind before I’d examined the tape’s accompanying literature, at which point I read that Canyon Lip is purposed “for a solo canoe trip thru mind tunnels”. It’s an image that works just as well. Aycock evokes tidal automation beautifully; an onward drift that seemingly requires minimal composer action to sustain, as though a very specific combination of earthly forces (wind, gravity) is carrying his hands over the strings and keys. Equally, the tape’s conclusion doesn’t seem to indicate arriving at a destination, and my stomach hangs open with unresolve as the loop begins to fade – it’s a journey for journey’s sake, but one that nonetheless feels lost and melancholic for not eventually reaching shore.