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thisquietarmy: Resurgence

img  Tobias Fischer

thisquietarmy's atmospheric and free-flowing collaborations with Yellow6 (Death Valley), Scott Cortez (Meridians) and Aidan Baker (on recently re-released Orange), all developed a hypnotic pull by working with extended duration. And yet, they only constitute one side of the project. On his solo albums, Eric Quach surprisingly prefers shorter, more focused formats. Although still leaning heavily on atmospherics, in terms of arrangement and build-up, these tracks qualify as veritable songs without words and vocals, especially when supported by a reverb-heavy, yet highly tangible drum machine.

Resurgence, published both as a luxurious 6-panel digipack including a bonus-CD and a Double-LP plus 7'' (the latter of which unfortunately lacks the almost twenty-minute long „The Cold Vacancy“) serves as a case in point. Already into the second song of the record, one is treated to thisquietarmy's personal take on the song format, with a subdued and impenetrable noise-carpet, closely entangled with recurring guitar motives, is taking turns with synth themes on top of propulsive drum-programming. There's a certain pop appeal to the music, not in the sense of candy cotton sweetness, but of featuring a beautiful and memorable melody reminding one of some of the French representatives of the Wave-movement of the 90s, such as Mary Goes Round or Little Nemo – or, to put it differently, of the solo work released by some of thisquietarmy's collaborators. And yet, the result never reverts to trivial revival gestures.

Several motives and sounds are making return visits over the course of Resurgence, providing for thematic brackets, coherency and homogeneity.  Thanks to analog synths occasionally taking precedence over the almighty guitars and the integration of female vocals, this strategy actually heightens rather than slackens the suspense. With this in mind, it is all the more unfortunate that aforementioned „The Cold Vacancy“ didn't make it to the vinyl edition: It is only after twelve subtly simmering minutes of extremely calmly building textures that the tension is released. And when it does happen, it magically manages to keep the the carefully nurtured ambiance of the piece intact.

By Hellmut Neidhardt

Homepage: thisquietarmy
Homepage: Denovali Records

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