The first track on Loden’s Valeen Hope, “(In)”, presents a sort of argument for the rest of the album. The track starts with a very basic rhythmic pattern from a drum machine. This pattern is then submitted to a slow and disturbed transmogrification process, turning into something much less solid than a simple drum beat. Electronic chords and notes become stretched long and thin and high pitched in a way that feels like the music is doing more than just changing, but is being tainted with another sort of ghost-like presence that cannot be truly discovered, its ambience instead only felt. Then definite beats come into play again, tangible patterns, but they are stained. Another sort of indefinite force of a sound rises up from under the patterns again, and it is clear that the current beat is not stained, but being stained, and this stain grows, and grows, until all of the sound is saturated with this unidentified ambience.
This conflict of the tangible and the intangible seems to resurface itself throughout the album, but it is this conflict that draws me to the music. There are tangible patterns that I can grasp so easily, hold in my hand, a toy, entertaining and poppy; but then something happens to it, something that I cannot grasp. Something intangible and enchanted takes hold of it and destabilizes it, separates it into 1000 little pieces, and try as I might, I cannot grab it like I used to.
This spirit that has come and possessed my toy flies up into the air, swirling all of the particles of my toy around and up and down and about. I reach and reach, but my fingers sweep through my toy like water. I plop down onto my butt, tired of trying capture something out of hand. I watch. I see. I see the smithereens weave seamlessly around and up and down and about, around and up and down and about, around and up and down and about. I could trace a line along its path, tell where it might go, see some of the changes that the swirling mass might take, and in this way, I could grasp it. By observing, the intangible became something tangible—a transubstantiated shift made in Loden’s Valeen Hope.
Air – Talkie Walkie
Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
M83 – Before the Dawn Heals Us