Lighter than its predecessor, In A Lonely Place (2012), and more in tune with its true self, Go Straight Towards The Light Of All That You Love is another essential release from Tape Loop Orchestra.
The underlying sadness isn’t an issue anymore; the emotional detritus has been cleared away, its plague replaced by a lighter (and perhaps even prettier) sound. Like a fading smile, the optimism is, to some degree, dampened by the persistent shadows of death and decay that hang over every living thing. Nothing lasts forever; right now, our temporary, earthly bodies are in the same process, the beating heart ticking the seconds away. Go Straight Towards The Light Of All That You Love is a loving glance at love, a celebration of a continuing journey as well as an accepting of its end, of experiencing those precious moments – sometimes just a couple of seconds long – and keeping them as a locket around your heart, as close as you can.
As susceptible as a candle’s flame, the sighing tones ghost around in the atmosphere, swirling without ever really disappearing, and a deeper bass purrs alongside them. Increasing the volume does not always lead to an increase in fervency, but the music – or the bass, at least – does steadily exert some force (which is to say that it exerts force in an ambient way – not so much pushing as gently escorting the music), imprinting itself on the eyes of the mind with murky images and grey-hued tones that resemble a noir flick from 1950’s Hollywood.
The sighs that sway are as sweet as a bell, and overall the sound just feels right. Like the comforting and yet silent presence of a guardian angel sitting by your side, it was always supposed to be with you, to be a part of your life, and to ultimately guide you toward light. The lengthy pieces let the listener slip away and slide deeper into the music, its thicker bass offset by thinner, wispier orbs of undiluted light. As delicate as a silk dress, the music is also an example of impermanence.
Its tone is scratched by hisses and the gentle palpitations of a running tape, but it’s always a warm sound (and, I think, a sound made even warmer by the process and by the actual tape itself). Change, of course, can’t be avoided, and it isn’t something to be feared. Life is always changing, and Tape Loop Orchestra’s music changes (and progresses) with it. This is an affectionate, reassuring sound, but it’s also one in the process of hissing, wrinkling, declining. The music has more authenticity with its imperfections (and the same is true of life in general). Until the lovely light comes, keep doing the things you love. (James Catchpole)