Illustrator: Doctor Woo.
"Gossamer" is defined as something having a light, thin, or delicate quality, and while Los Angeles-based producer Evan Reiner's debut full-length under the Gossamer moniker fits these descriptions, there's a considerable amount of care put into his work, ensuring that his songs don't just float away in the breeze. Reiner spent two years gathering sounds in order to craft this album, traveling throughout the United States and Japan in order to capture bizarre and beautiful noises. The album is full of ghostly whispers and buzzing insects, but it's the calm, detailed beats and organic melodies that make the most lasting impression. "Print" begins with jazzy hi-hats, sparkling pianos, and thumping downtempo kick drums, gradually layering in eerie backwards vocals and a droney, shoegaze-like melody. "3d Relief" has detached, offbeat synth bleeps cloaked by layers of beautiful acoustic stringed instruments, tied together with slow, thudding beats. Highlight "Okuma" is reminiscent of IDM at its most sparse, with a gentle, snowflake-like melody gracefully falling on fluttering acoustic guitar and sighing vocals, and soft, almost subliminal beats. Drum-heavy "J-cruise" concentrates on rattling percussion and hand drums, punctuated by a few booming bass drops and synths that swarm like air-raid sirens. The album's final two tracks are weightless and ambient, fittingly concluding with the sound of crickets chirping. Automaton is fragile and wispy (and short, at only 28 minutes), but it proves that Reiner is highly skilled at arranging lush, ethereal sounds, and is a quietly stunning listening experience. ~ Paul Simpson