Published Apr 27, 2020If you confine Therapy with Colour to the nebulous "concentration music" genre, you'll find yourself knee-deep in droning, 3-hour-long YouTube videos and under-appreciating T. Gowdy's finesse. In the most superficial of terms, listening to this record feels like getting your brain massaged, from the title track's tantalizing ASMR-like patter to the deep, soothing synths of "No Wave II."
Because the music isn't explicitly tied down to instruments like piano or guitar, which comes with their real-world associations, listening is a freeing experience. The Montreal-based musician, producer and visual artist was inspired by the Nova Pro 100 Light and Sound Machine, which is traditionally used for home hypnosis.
In lieu of listening to the album yourself, here are a variety of illustrations that won't do the music justice, but will hopefully function as teasers. "Depse" feels like an ethereal shimmer, tickling the back of your head, and "No Wave II" satisfies like brushing a velvet pillow from its light side to its dark counterpart. "Up CTRL" swoops you into a factory of sound, tapping with sewing machine precision and undulating upon the winding belts of the synth. "Excavating Air" is the anomaly. It strikes you with emotional whiplash, as it is the only track with worldly sounds from bells, chatter, and birds, sinking into your ears as you find yourself deep in a well of his music.
T. Gowdy is clearly a master of his craft, having predestined a place for every sound in every moment. This album was on repeat while writing this article, a true testament to its ability to facilitate concentration. It goes without saying, but please, listen to this one with headphones. (Constellation)