Taylor Deupree * Dive 1: Refraction

Taylor Deupree


When delving into new albums, I usually refrain from reading any accompanying information beforehand. Hopefully, this allows for a more unbiased initial listening experience. So, you can imagine my surprise when I was greeted by the sounds of a fully acoustic ensemble upon pressing play. Could this truly be the work of Taylor Deupree, as I’ve come to know it?

Had my memory served me better, I might have recognized the musical themes themselves. “Sti.ll” is an acoustic reinterpretation of Deupree‘s 2002 album, ‘Stil.’, arranged for a lineup including clarinet, vibraphone, cello, double bass, flute, guitar, lap harp, and percussion.
Remarkably, the arrangements stay true to the original tracks, maintaining the same sequence and durations. Thus, it becomes particularly intriguing to juxtapose both albums and observe how Deupree‘s ‘exploration of extreme repetitions and stillness’ translates into the realm of acoustic performance.
Which is easy, because the original version of Stil. is also included in the download.

The reconstructions are meticulously crafted by arranger and producer Joseph Branciforte, marking the second release in his Folio series – ‘a release format that sets out to answer the question: why release music in a physical form today?’

Sti.ll is a hybrid offering, combining a high-resolution digital download of both albums with a 6.5×8″ hardcover book. Within the book, readers will find an introduction penned by Pitchfork’s Philip Sherburne, essays contributed by Deupree, Branciforte, and Greenstone reflecting on the album’s conception and creation, as well as a complete reproduction of Branciforte’s arrangements in full score, complemented by studio photography courtesy of Deupree.

Sti.II will be released on May 17 but can be pre-ordered from the link above or from Bandcamp.

Dive 1: Refraction


The Bathysphere Records label started out in January 2023. It is a cassette-only label, but their releases are also available as digital downloads.
Dive1: Refraction is their 12th album release, and brings together artists that have released on the label before:
James Phillips (or Sumner James), Justin Longerbeam and Christina Cano (known as Volcano Lazerbeam), Robert Chamberlain, and Ayal Alves (Saroon).

‘We brought together artists from around the country and engaged in an evening of improvisational recordings. The resulting works were thoughtfully curated and sent to Ayal Alves, who composed and performed intricate woodwind arrangements, unifying the piece.’

There’s a delicate balance between organic and electronic sounds – the woodwind arrangements indeed make the tracks feel natural and organic. The music isn’t ‘simply’ ambient, it is quiet introspective jazz also.
But I guess I should not try to fix a genre label to it and just note that this is ‘a sensory expedition mirroring the synergetic spirit and aesthetic of Bathysphere Records.’

In the future, there will be more collaborations like this, ‘uniting artists from the label roster to craft unique and immersive musical experiences’.
Based on this edition, that is definitely something to look forward to!

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