Soft Moon, Noveller, Population | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Soft Moon, Noveller, Population 

When: Thu., April 16, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $12, $10 in advance
Watching composer, filmmaker, and visual artist Sarah Lipstate perform her gorgeous, layered guitar-and-synth fantasias in Noveller, the solo project she’s pursued since 2005, is a little like watching Bob Ross paint. Not because her music is corny and cliched (sorry Bob), but because it’s more gratifying to see the skill and ingenuity that go into the process than it is to simply take in the final product—and of course it helps that Noveller’s landscapes, while synthetic in texture and often far from soothing in volume, retain something pastoral about them. On her sixth full-length, this winter’s Fantastic Planet (Fire), the former Parts & Labor guitarist uses a sampling pedal to stack congested pulses, auroral streaks, glassy echoing pings, lugubrious mechanical clanks, syrupy eruptions of digital fuzz, and interlocking ringing loops that drift from hazy to bright and back again, like a melody carried to your ear from across a field by a capricious wind. Its title notwithstanding, the album doesn’t share much with the funky space prog on Alain Goraguer’s soundtrack to the animated 1973 sci-fi film La Planete Sauvage (renamed Fantastic Planet for its English release), other than the feeling of floating high above the surface of an alien world. The pace is always serene and dreamy, the developments gradual and accretive—you can almost see the happy little clouds. —Philip Montoro
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