Review: Translucent Envelope – Common Errors (self-released, Apr 2)

Common Errors is the perfect soundtrack to an existence on (as Desaulniers himself puts it) “house arrest”: queasy, confusing, restless, occasionally a lot of fun, brief (I hope). The two short pieces on this new handmade tape release are eclectic assemblages of improvisations recorded last year, disparate bits stitched together into evolving chains. At play here is the usual Translucent Envelope toolbox of woozy tape warble, slivers of haunted melodies, and insectile skitter, but some surprising new territory is plumbed throughout a concise 14 minutes. Snatches of voices and dissected conversations occasionally surface, establishing more of a human presence than is usually evoked, and the dedication to producing detailed vignettes results in some fascinating and immersive soundscapes still imbued with plenty of scruffy charm: broken radios and music toys are played by ghosts in an abandoned day care, an ambient loop slowly melts in a miniature furnace, heaven briefly shines through a small hole in the muck. This is music to really dive deep into, and won’t even take up much of the inordinate supply of extra time you all have. Here’s hoping things get “better and better and better,” for all of us.

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