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Eluvium - Nightmare Ending

  by Paul Waller

published: 10 / 6 / 2013

Eluvium - Nightmare Ending
Label: Temporary Residence
Format: CD


Epic and hopeful-sounding post-rock on magnifecently-packaged double album from Eluvium, the project of Portland, Oregon-based musician Matthew Cooper

Portland resident Matthew Cooper has been releasing music under the Eluvium moniker for a good decade now, and first came to this scribe's attention when he released 2007’s ‘Copia’ LP. I was going through a heavy Eno phase at the time, and Eluvium filled the gap nicely between his release schedule. It’s an album I didn’t come back to often but when I did it transformed my surroundings. I found it hard to concentrate on anything else. It was a record that cried out for your full attention. Come 2013 and Cooper has released his double opus ‘Nightmare Ending’, an album that was originally shelved before the release of ‘Smiles’ in 2010 due to the inner struggle of perfectionism versus what was actually physically possible for him to make at the time. Encased in another beautiful package featuring artwork from his wife Jeannie Paske ‘Nightmare Ending’ is a leap forward in both size (the album has an 84 minute running time) and scope. Musically tracks are filled with hope, although there is still that undercurrent of darkness throughout; it’s like the polar opposite of the vibe you get from listening to too much Boards of Canada. No songs here feel creepy in anyway; they are almost celebratory. In places you could even be forgiven for thinking this was a Michael Giaccino score, back pinning the final episode of 'Lost' or something like that. Whilst the album is largely instrumental, the final track ‘Happiness’ has a minimal vocal which is buried under layers of sound, concluding with a pretty piano motif. I have a feeling that over the years this track and ‘Nightmare Ending’ as a whole will reveal itself to be a less epic effort and a far more insular and personal sounding record, but right now, four listens in, the sheer length of this album is too much to get my head around. Yet it makes me want to persevere, if only to ogle at the incredible artwork on the front cover.

Track Listing:-
1 Don't Get Any Closer
2 Warm
3 By The Rails
4 Unknown Variation
5 Caroling
6 Sleeper
7 Envenom Mettle
8 Chime
9 Rain Gently
10 Impromptu
11 Covered in Writing
12 Entendre
13 Strange Arrivals
14 Happiness

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