Daniel Wohl, Corps Exquis

Jayson Greene

By Jayson Greene

on 12.04.13 in Reviews

The British composer Daniel Wohl’s music is perennially dissolving before your ears. Whether it’s a church organ, a hum of tremolo strings or some softly undulating synth arpeggios, his compositions are working on two levels simultaneously: At one, they are washing forward over you, soothing and enveloping. And on another, more furtive level, they are dissembling themselves on a subatomic level, little bits of organic sounds breaking off and swimming around in Wohl’s digital processor. There is a touch of interstellar calm to a lot of the works featured on Corps Exquis, from the glowing gongs and long, Eastern-tinged bowed melodies of “323″ to the cool-blue coo of Julia Holter, which shows up on “Neigbhorhood.” But there is also the entropy of grounded life, as Matmos-like scalpel trickery operates at the edge of the mix. You might never be sure, listening to his works, if the music is looped digitally or played live, and the zen slipstream between the two worlds is Wohl’s home.