Mapping Azure review in 'The Quietus' 'Spools Out' article 'Best tapes of 2020' by Daryl Worthington
'How do you describe a colour to someone who’s never seen it? How do you map a cloudless sky? These are the sorts of questions of communication BAG, the duo of Brit Dan Allison and Canadian Jody DeSchutter seem to engage with on debut tape Mapping Azure. The combination of electronics, field recordings and poetry are simultaneously vivid and vague. Clusters of words are read, often without obvious connection, but this isn’t a completely random language soup. Constellations start to form so that even if sense doesn’t fully appear, its echo does. The accompanying soundscape has a similar effect, shifting from almost inaudible pulses to pristine arpeggios and lurking beats. It occasionally seems at odds with the poems, but maybe that distance is where the real meaning lies?
Mapping Azure seems to dig at the very essence of communication. When we reach the limit of vocabulary we resort to metaphor or describing the effect of something rather than the thing itself. That seems to be the case with BAG’s music, a weird schematic of something unknown that can only be conveyed through allusion.'
Their debut release, Mapping Azure, breathes fractured and cyclic narrative-like nonsense into vast soundscapes and pulses. It pushes forward over mountain and valley like breath, like water, like sky.
Strange worlds are journeyed and mapped; sounds and words dissolve into colour and back again.