“The first full-length Alex Cobb has released since Taiga Remains’ well-received Wax Canopy (Digitalis, 2009). Sonically however, the two records could not be more dissimilar, with Passage to Morning recalling more the meditative guitar minimalism of Ribbons of Dust, his prior release for the Root Strata label. Here, glacially moving, eternally receding drones sourced from strings, tape loops and analog synthesizer are the order of the day, expertly arranged into succinct and imminently listenable compositions. Comparisons made of Cobb’s previous recordings to Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann’s work as Mirror prove particularly apt here, as Passage to Morning trades in the same sort of devotional, faraway sound design for which the pair have been justly praised. ‘The Immediate Past’ opens the record, with billowing, lulling tones hanging thick in the air like a struck bell frozen in time. Later, ‘Bewildered By Its Blue’ juxtaposes deep, brooding low-end tones with crackling tape noise and truly hypnotic cycles of analog synthesizer. That this is Cobb’s first full-length under his own name is no coincidence, as here he offers us his most intimate recordings to date.”
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Marigold and Cable marks an indelible new phase in the trajectory of Alex Cobb’s solo recordings and prior missives as Taiga Remains. The album’s four compositions are streamlined and focused, finding a balance between studied contours and compositional intuition. Shades of early Stars of the Lid and Kevin Drumm’s lambent drones are apt starting points, but Cobb routes them through a live set up without the aid of loops or synthesizers. Marigold and Cable is heavy with meaning and intent, but buoyant and almost tender in execution, allowing filtered harmonies and veiled melodies to waver and sparkle amid clouded atmospherics. On “Rain at the Fete,” Cobb wrings his guitar through processing that transforms the instrument into shadowy piano notes and smudged choral works. Later, Maxwell Croy of EN weaves koto lines throughout “Oversong” to stunning effect. The album was recorded during late spring in coastal southern California, in which cool temperatures and overcast skies belie the region’s usual warmth and sunshine. Cobb uses this weather pattern to inform Marigold and Cable, an album that is perhaps the signal accomplishment in his lengthy resume. Mastered by James Plotkin, pressed on 180 gram black vinyl, in a limited edition of 500 copies worldwide.