Album release: "Wissenschaftslehre IV or Opinion Crisis" by Sharks' Teeth
Release date: 17 March 2015
Label: Paco Tapes
Listen on: Sharks' Teeth website
Sharks’ Teeth began in 2009 as an outlet for the solo recordings of Tyler Scurlock, songwriter and guitarist of New Orleans indie band, Sun Hotel. Six years and six synthesizers later, and Sharks’ Teeth are ready to release their 17th album ‘Wissenschaftslehre IV or Opinion Crisis’. The new album will be the fourth instalment in a sequence of ambient collections known as ‘Wissenschaftslehres’.
Borrowing its name from the German Philosopher, Johann Fichte, who used the term to mean something along the lines of “this is the way I think”, ‘Opinion Crisis’ comes to us in 22 tracks of pleasing yet dark, and dejected synth waves, maintaining a sense of otherworldly beauty across the board, with gorgeous pads and arpeggiators making their way across the stereo field in a hazy, oxymoronically lo-fi, cassette-recorded fashion.
True to its heritage ‘Opinion Crisis’ is philosophical in its execution. There is something almost cinematic in its design. Scurlock says “I think about how when the score enters a film, it can make a scene of an everyday task such as grocery shopping, folding your laundry, or just staring out the window appear to be an emotional and deeply meaningful experience, depending on the musical tones”.
Lead track, ‘Jade Oscilloscope Screen’ exemplifies this perfectly by blending dark, melancholic and swelling drones, with beguiling piano and subtle sweeps, which seduces the listener into forgoing any distractions and gives them a bespoke feeling of significance. It’s soothing, accommodating, and at times it is evocative of an outer body experience allowing the listener to inspect every element of their own mise en scène. This is more than just an album of pleasing synth driven tracks, it’s a collection of emotions and moods bestowed on to the listener for his/her own subjective delineation.
‘Wissenschaftslehre IV or ‘Opinion Crisis’ will also be the first release to feature the use of Scurlock’s very own design for a light operated delay device, the ‘Alter-Echo’. This unit, designed and distributed by Scurlock’s small time circuit bending operation kindinstruments.com, gives the tracks on ‘Opinion Crisis’ a new quality, made possible through a new way of controlling the expression of tone. These unfamiliar textures reveal themselves in the warped strings of opening track ‘Reader’s Digest Go Unread’ and in the bending and bouncing melody of ‘Gray Court’.
‘Opinion Crisis’ is a lush experience, with flittering electronic haze and minimal vocal work, seeming to allude to leisure and faith. It’s when explicit structure reveals itself from this record’s reverb-y fog that makes this the kind of record worth paying attention to the little sonic details.