Auburn Lull dropped onto everyone's radar pretty quickly a couple years back with Alone I Adore and followed it up with last years Cast From The Platform. Regions Less Parallel is a collection of songs from the group from between the years 1996 and 2004 and shows a steady progression from spaced-out mood pieces to the more cohesive and structured shoegazing tracks that they are creating now. A chronological retrospective of their early work to date, it includes not only their The Dual Group EP, but tracks from various compilations, singles, and several previously-unreleased tracks.
The result is a collection that is surprisingly cohesive, and one that shows definite movement during the course of the running length. Interestingly enough, my most recent listen to the release seemed to find me in just about the right state of mind for maximum enjoyment, as I spent the morning of a weekend outside working in the sun before coming in and sitting in the cool air for awhile. During the course of the previous week, I'd missed out on a lot of sleep that my body had needed, and so I found myself sitting on the floor with my eyelids heavy as my body adjusted to the temperature and the first couple tracks of the release started blurring by.
As mentioned above, some of the earlier tracks from the group feel more like attempts at pure atmosphere rather than real songs at all, as both "Secor" and "June Tide" move (more like shapeshift slowly) with heavily-reverbed guitars and percussion while ultra-breathy vocals add little more than another texture in the swirling cloud of warm sound. On "Simca," the group brings a minimal programmed samba-esque beat into the track, but it's still content to loft dense swaths of guitar and vocals over the top until the rhythm is almost completely submerged.
Such is how it goes with much of the release. There's a nod towards the breathy vocals of Neal Halstead in places and the group certainly knows how to create a dreamy atmosphere (more than once I was reminded of early 4AD artists when listening to Regions Less Parallel). Basically, if you enjoy the previous work of this group, you're not going to go wrong here, as this is a very convenient way for you to not only hunt down their early work all in one place (especially the really rare stuff). Even though their older releases aren't quite as fully-formed, there are still some real gems on this release.