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Silent Music, 'Taciturn Headphonetics'

Silent Music
Taciturn Headphonetics

Street Date: February 2, 2024
Style: Electronic
Buy It: Bandcamp

Graham Wall is a Canadian electronic artist who has been behind several projects since 2008, but more recently is the man behind Silent Music. His most recent offering is the quirky 14-track Taciturn Headphonetics. From the title to the cover art to the tracklist, it's easy to see that Wall is delivering an instrumental project to stoke the flames of the imagination. In fact, the opening track, "Soren's Cinnamon," features the only words spoken on the album and gives the thesis for the project: "Each of us is an intellectual cosmos."

The way Wall conveys that imagination electronically is less through melody and more through beats surrounded by repetitive hooks. At times, these can feel too repetitive, but most of the tracks move along at a good pace. Only a couple tracks (the aforementioned "Soren's Cinnamon" and "How It's Made") are more white noise than melodic background music. Some songs lean more heavily on melody, like "Submariner" or "Railroad Town," and these are the standouts from the bunch. The experimentation on the longer tracks is also more impressive, like making the snare on "Table Tennis" mimic the back and forth of someone playing the game or using the high hat to mimic a steam engine on "Railroad Town." The shorter tracks that run under 2 minutes feel more like filler or half-formed demos than fully completed works. Still, the overall effect of the album makes for mostly pleasant background listening.

The challenge of an instrumental record is being able to convey a theme or concept without the use of lyrics. At first, Taciturn Headphonetics might seem like a random spewing of ideas into a synthesizer. But repeated listens gives one the sense of playfulness and imagination. A track like "Table Tennis" obviously references a game, while other tunes feel like video game soundtracks ("The Milve Raceway" or "Tony Hawk's Snowskater," for example). Songs like "I Only See Hot Air Balloons in the Morning," "Dragon Sunnies," or "Fireworks Galaxy" add to the childlike wonder of the album. It's that awe and wonder that seems to be Wall's biggest goal here and, for the most part, he achieves that.

While Taciturn Headphonetics may not be the catchiest electronic album of the year, it serves a good purpose in what it tries to instill in the listener. It likely won't be a record to put on and pay close attention to, but it can work as something creative to have on in the background. If you're looking for a project to help fan the fires of wonder in your heart, Silent Music has an offering that may help.

- Review date: 2/5/24, written by John Underdown of Jesusfreakhideout.com

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JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 14 tracks
. Street Date: February 2, 2024
. Buy It: Bandcamp

  1. Soren's Cinnamon (2:02)
  2. Table Tennis (3:48)
  3. I Only See Hot-Air Balloons in the Morning (3:15)
  4. Supervenience (1:55)
  5. How It's Made (1:53)
  6. Cosmo's Space Derby (0:57)
  7. Submariner (4:15)
  8. The Milve Raceway (2:25)
  9. History, as Understood from Its Endpoint (2:49)
  10. Dragon Sunnies (1:38)
  11. Rainier Dog With the Yellow Hat (4:27)
  12. Tony Hawk's Snowskater (2:24)
  13. Railroad Town (3:07)
  14. Fireworks Galaxy (2:27)




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