I’m no geologist, but thanks to a bit of search-engine scholarship I can now tell you that a “terrane” is a land-mass phenomenon where a tectonic plate breaks off and fuses with another, leaving a fault-line where the two bits of Earth-crust have “sutured.” The metaphorical inference to be made here – that collaborators Adam Trainer and Matt Rosner’s respective approaches/oeuvres are comparable to tectonic plates, monolithic, timeless, and joined at last – might seem a touch self-important if not for a few facts. (A) Adam and Matt are well-known to be top dudes, tirelessly honing their crafts for years with no time for chest-puffing; (B) their approaches/oevres actually DO feel somehow monolithic and timeless, detached from the mundanities of modern life, alluding to something more cosmic or ancient, and © well, it’s just a darned album title isn’t it, and it would be a bit rough to draw assumptions about the fellers’ personalities thereupon.
For a more rigorous glimpse into the inner workings of the Trainer/Rosner collective consciousness, cue up their debut long-player. You will be handsomely rewarded. “Terrane” is one of the most simultaneously accessible and uncompromising experimental records to come out of Perth – perhaps ever. The pair’s shared penchant for slow-burn textural development, distant gestural melody and ambient drifting is adapted and forged into a record that is remarkably concise and consistently engaging – you might even call it muscular.
Opener “Velar” is all glassy piano, sparse percussion and ghostly bow strokes, but immediately “String and Stone” reworks similar textures into decisive 4/4, a quiet, sanguine momentum – dance music for sunbeams. “Tyne,” similarly, relies on repetition, and nods towards Trainer’s pop and post-rock roots. Other tracks – like “Road Movie,” “Straight Crest,” and “Moth Food,” allow more for these textures to float, unbridled by tempo, foregrounding the freeform interplay of campfire crackle and dawntime drone. Yet never does the record drag; my indie-pop-adoring teenage sister likes it; no less is it bound to please the most avid aficionados of experimental soundscaping. Gilded have achieved that special alchemy – transcending “genre” with a record that will appeal to many, sacrificing none of its unique, esoteric quality in the process.