Talk West’s Dylan Aycock is seemingly fascinated by dichotomy between acoustic instrumentation and subtle digital processing. On the project’s most recent album Black Coral Sprig, Aycock blends several simple folk based melodies with various electronics and found sounds to create beautiful drones that blur the line between the organic and the processed.
Album centerpiece, “Willow and the Dogwood” is a particularly interesting example of this process. The track essentially functions as a theme and variation on a minimal guitar figure, but as Aycock gradually introduces new harmonies on top of the initial melody, he increases the decay of each attack as well, which creates a near-organ like tone at times. This, coupled with the delicate white noise that underscores the track, raises the question, “Is what we’re hearing is entirely solo guitar?” The white noise could be amp hum, but it could also be an extremely subtle field recording, just like the accumulation of harmonics towards the end of the piece could be the result of decay or a well-placed synth. These vagaries are what make Aycock’s work endlessly fascinating. The dude is excelling at creating lovely music that continually questions where one sound ends and another begins (if a new sound begins at all), while marrying folk simplicity to sonic complexity.
Black Coral Sprig is available from Preservation now. You can listen to “Willow and the Dogwood” below.