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Bloom’s Taxonomy’s New Record Foley Age 

The noise renaissance in ambient music is essentially over in 2021, and in its place we’re starting to see the beginnings of a new, melodic revolution for the genre taking shape. Bloom’s Taxonomy’s new record Foley Age is a good example of the transition embodied in ten songs; rather than putting together collages that trace their roots back to an acrylic textural expressiveness pioneered by the Tokyo, London and Seattle undergrounds, this artist emphasizes elements of synthpop and post-rock as a means of accentuating melodicism hidden inside every track.

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There are moments in which Foley Age feels a little commentarial (which is really something for an album that contains no lyrics at all whatsoever), but never self-absorbed. All of Bloom’s Taxonomy’s focus is lent to communicating from every possible angle of attack, allowing for deeply experimental numbers like “Mount Bromo,” “Earthrise,” “Obrigada Nada” and “Cosmic Village of the Jaguars” to sound like a collective response to a mundane scene’s monotonous sound. There’s no holding anything back from start to finish in this disc, but instead a depiction of mad artistry that I could listen to just about any day of the week.

The percussion somehow manages to steal some of the thunder away from the synths in the title track and aforementioned “Mount Bromo,” and honestly I can’t recall another ambient LP that made as good a use of its drum element as this one does. The jazz influences on Bloom’s Taxonomy are impossible for him to conceal in tracks like “Pluvius” and “Imaginary Angles;” and, frankly, I wouldn’t want them hidden from view anyway. The jazz-inspired backbone of Foley Age impart so much harmony between the otherwise discordant components of these songs that I would say the entire album wouldn’t be as entrancing were it not born of as much of a liberal songwriting aesthetic. The understated melodicism of “Tumbleweed Tornado” and “Elephant Park” does more to create a spotlight on this artist’s skillset than any amount of cinematic frills in a music video or any other medium ever could – hence we find this LP devoid of the fluff so many other acts would savagely abuse when making their own album in 2021.

Fans of Bloom’s Taxonomy new and old the same are likely to regard this as his definitive work for the time being, and not only because of the surface level dreaminess that any listener will immediately discover upon hearing Foley Age this February. Beyond this being a terrific look for his brand moving forward, the swagger fused with raw substance in Foley Age makes me certain that Bloom’s Taxonomy is still in the process of giving us everything he can in the studio. This isn’t a creative peak in any way, shape or form, but instead a glimpse into the possibilities that lie ahead of a player and composer who isn’t afraid to get his hands a little dirty when creating hot new ambient music. My endorsement of his work is solid, and I think you’ll give him yours after hearing what he can do in this most recent dispatch.

John McCall

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