CT0815 is one Allen Morris, a formally trained musician who somehow manages to live in the country that best suits his mood at any given point. Morris apparently took to the laptop due to its convenience and abundant production possibilities. One look at the digital cover artwork (Happy digi-Buddha catching a butterfly in the palm of his hand) was all that was really requisite, but I went ahead and spun this a couple of times anyway. The initial assessment was correct, though. CT0815?s debut is a lengthy dose of chill-out electronica spiced with suggestions of Zen-like euphoria as well as dub, jazz, D&B, and lounge music.
At its best, ?Times & Tides? sounds like Pygmalion-era Slowdive colliding with the DJ scene. At its best, it hovers rather than travels. Largely delivered with a drum machine and keyboard, the flourishes of tabla and guitar provide a spoonful of sugar when the medicine gets too bitter. In its weaker moments, ?Times & Tides? is dangerously pedestrian, and bound for sets of tiny little Bose speakers pumping sonic wallpaper into hipster bars that serve only exotic cocktails and tofu quesadillas.
Occasionally, ?Times & Tides? hints at an awareness of Terry Riley-esque minimal hypnosis. In fact, it?s not without the occasional acknowledgment of electro-heavy post-rock. Ultimately, there?s nothing new or groundbreaking here, but I do sense a budding compositional interest?a talent even?and I?d go so far as to call some of the arrangements clever and dynamically deft.
I just think I would have liked it a bit more as a 7? or something--fat-free.
If it sounds like I?m totally douching ?Times & Tides,? I?m not. I know everything can?t be Earth-shattering. In fact, I even thought to myself that Morris is probably a damn nice guy, and that we likely even had some overlapping musical interests. In an effort to be fairer, I did some Googling and came across CT0815?s downloadable press kit. In it, I found these four ?points of note?:
- This is CT0815?s first release.
- This CD is a loop free electronic album.
- Allen Morris is a resident of Germany, the United States, and Taiwan.
- Allen is vegetarian.
WHAT!? Okay, pardon me veggies, but what the fuck does that have to do with anything? In the 60 or 70 words Morris musters to shed light on his artistic vision, this is what is deemed illuminating? Makes me want to listen to an hour-long loop of the sounds of kitten flesh being chewed. Keep the preaching out of it, I?d ask, Allen. Other than that I think you could be onto something. 5/10 -- Travis Johnson (27 June, 2006)