Collapsed View LP
Digitalis Recordings 68 / USA / 2014
Utterly enchanting, joyfully whimsical return from Portland, Oregon's acoustic/ambient-pop hypnotist, Sean Byrne aka Bugskull. Returning to Digitalis a half decade on from the much-loved 'Communication' album, his sound on 'Collapsed View' is mostly as charmingly concise and somnambulant as we remember, but also offers three slightly extended views where he really takes flight. The A-side yields five sun-dried ambient pickings, moseying from woozy harmonica, organ and acoustic guitar strums cuddled to tape in 'Heaven/California', thru the smudged dirge of 'Olde Growth', to hazily ramshackle drums and smoky organ tendrils in 'Billow'. B-side, he widens his aperture to reveal a wider, wiser palette of exotic inference and lush, rippling synth textures in three parts, melting from gamelan-infused electronic panoramas in 'Druids' to a Gas-like swirl of sax loops on the title track, and the phasing harmonic drift of 'Victory Lapse'.