Taciturn: inclined to silence; saying little. Moribund: in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigor. Cobbled from tapes in various states of erasure, the four tracks of “Taciturn, Moribund” tell a sort of blurry and obscured ghost story. Like a faded photograph, only far less romantic. Largely unrecognizable sound sources, like memories, wither and crumble. Their impressions remain lurking under a hazy veil of tape hiss. What eventually emerges is a tapestry of anxious expanses, interwoven with brief periods of resolve or solace.
When Cerberus first cut its teeth as a babe covering cassette-exclusive releases a decade ago or so ago, the work of Grant and Rachel Evans were prominent in the digital print space we were given. At some point, there was a drift, likely because Cerberus had to become something else and Grant and Rachel — as adults do — put their energies elsewhere. And though we were all doing the same things we had always done, our ships — instead of meeting in the foggy waters of communal cassette appreciation — started passing in the night. Thankfully, the contemplative Taciturn, Moribund from Grant came like a hardy beacon from a distant lighthouse from within this heavyset fog. Opener “Signet” is full of the bright stuff, as a solitary melody casts its light from far away in the distance. All that can be heard other than its faint call is the static and movement of the rolling cloud hovering at the top of the cold bay. But it’s a beacon well worth following. Taciturn, Moribund inhabits the surroundings in which these compositions are constructed, becoming less about the rudimentary instrumentation but more about the sounds of the world enveloping them. It’s soothing to hear a mantra get hugged by heavy air or falling water.
It’s Spring rains helping to welcome the reborn world, much like this now newsletter version of Cerberus signals its own rebirth and renewal. I’m so glad to have rediscovered Grant’s work, and to cast the anchor into the watery depths below to stop and listen once again so that our ships may no longer pass indiscriminately. And it turns out Grant is creating intimate compositions I never wanted to miss, and now I will not ever again.