Language is David Tagg's thirteenth full-length album, a set of six pieces that explore ideas, instruments and approaches not previously considered on earlier recordings. Language brings to mind many possible interpretations of the word, all of them relevant and none of them assured - Communion with self, family and friends, God? With the resonating strings on wooden fretboards or with the resonance of the Earth itself? Speech, wordless and prose alike, spun from a beating heart pulse, filled with longing, hopeful in reaching out across the distance but resigned to the exile of isolation, disconnection, foreign tongues. Somewhere in the midst of these considerations, Tagg pools together fragments of melody and suggestions of overtone, plucked from Georgian winds, distilled through the veins of amplifiers, synthesizers and microphones, laid to rest gently upon miles and miles of humid brown tape. Perhaps that is the key of Language, an understanding of music as a non-verbal communication, a tool that can be grasped as a workflow or a weapon. Indeed, for years, Tagg has considered himself less of a musician and more of a craftsman, and Language feels cogent in this way, a plinth inscribed with a few lines of poetry in an unreadable shorthand, built for longevity and utility just as much as any kind of sentimentalities that might be otherwise assumed. For the people reading this who don't follow, assure yourselves that the movements made in the darkness and uncertainty are for the best, that you can calm yourself in the faith, trusting the able hands of this silent sculptor to push back against the fear, the hesitation, the utterly alone, and we can all be together here, happier, safer, bound only by vibration and love, distances forsaken, abyss refused, everything that we need.
pure essence of travel. transitioning from crowds in public centres to extended dream sequences reminiscent of watching everything pass by, looking out the window of a train. everything flows perfectly and each overlapping moment complements another.
i first listened to this in may, during a trip in rural quebec. i played it every day while driving by towering rock structures and minuscule, isolated communities. i still listen almost every day now as well.
best album of the year by far ethan van iderstine