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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
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+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
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+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
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+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
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+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
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Donato Wharton
Body Isolations
City Centre Offices

As a contemporary dance term, "body isolations" refers to the manner in which an audience is brought to concentrate its full attention on a single element of the performance. Following this principle, Donato Wharton sets out to arrange this album in such a way that each composition manifests a sole sentiment most acutely.

While he does sometimes achieve this, there remains a continuity between pieces, a sameness in mood, pace and arrangement; it leaves the impression that these individual works are merely tiny scatterings of a sole shaft of light refracted through a prism.

By and large, tracks are hushed and slightly dour. A gray cloud of fizzling ambiance wavers atop "Blue Skied Demon," punctured by gaunt guitar lattices and ripples of static. "Transparencies" hints at this very same nostalgia, its watery loops of piano and subtle digital scratches testifying to some unknown missing contents.

With "Underweave," the forms become a bit more mangled, a bit more aggressive and to the point, but they still lead back to the same sentiment of reverence and dismay before some unknown, yet seemingly important absence. After the dense buildup of steely timbres and luminous organ chords, though, "Puget Sound" follows with slow swirling pools of organ and electric piano, shaded by fuzzy electronic tones, and slips back into a gauze of sublime nostalgia. Near the end of the work, an odd bluesy slide of guitar is blended against skeletal bell-like tones and ectoplasmic smears of sound, but this comes along too late to really tear the album away from pretty spiraling.

Much of this album is indeed pretty, and it could well sit amiably alongside any number of other ambient electronica acts (Marsen Jules and Yellow 6 come to mind). But prettiness aside, it's rarely anything more than the empty foam on the sea. More importantly, rather than achieving a flow of each track from its own internal episodic logic, Wharton is mostly content to repeat a limited number of basic themes.

by Max Schaefer

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