Before joining successful US outfit Death Cab For Cutie, Chris Walla was a prolific engineer and producer in his own right. Working on dozens of albums, including a solo release of his own, dubbed 'Field Manual' back in 2008, Walla seems to have more interest behind the spotlight than in front of it. And after leaving Death Cab For Cutie at the end of last year, this new release is the first thing we have heard from him since and it is instantly and identifiably different.
Pieced together physically using loop-based analog recordings and tapes, 'Tape Loops' not only aims to bring back a lost art form in the recording of modern music, but looks to be as sonically different from anything Walla has worked on in the last decade as well. With sparsely played piano, atmospheric reverb and no vocals, this new record seems to be more of an escape for Walla as he looks to break away from his past and deliver something truly unique to him.
While it does make for a blissful and relaxing listen, its repetitiveness and lack of progression does hinder its overall pace, especially as it is only 39 minutes long. Nevertheless the result is beautifully made and a triumph considering how it was produced.