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Damian Valles

Skeleton Taxa

(Drifting Falling; US: 27 Sep 2011; UK: Import)

Valles has been jumping from one genre to another––math rock, post-rock, ambient, punk––for more than a decade now. The Canadian musician has landed on something that feels like ambient, but which he says is more concerned with structured tunes and melodies—song stuff—than his past solo stuff. How is it? At times reminiscent of the dark, spooky stuff put together by Norway’s Ulver, albeit without the overwhelmingly depressive edge, the record’s perfect in its ambient ambitions, and pretty good otherwise. “Bell and Arc”, which features vocals from Valles’ wife Heidi Hazelton, is inarguably the best here and makes you wish there were one or two more like it.


Jedd Beaudoin is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He holds an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Wichita State University and hosts Strange Currency six nights week for Wichita Public Radio. His writing has appeared in No Depression and The Crab Orchard Review as well as at websites such as and

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