Louise Bock returns with a riveting collaboration

Taralie Peterson and Pat Gubler combine their experimental projects to strong effect.

Taralie Peterson and Pat Gubler combine their experimental projects to strong effect.

Image: Taralie Peterson, left, is shown sitting in a chair holding a saxophone. Pat Gubler, right, is shown working in his studio with keyboards and a harp. Photos by Rob Jacobs and Mayuko Fujino.

Louise Bock and New York-based PG Six‘s recently released collaboration, All Summer Long Is Gone, is a difficult record to define. Taralie Peterson—the Madison-based musician behind Lousie Bock—has amassed a discography in keeping with a stubborn refusal to adhere to expectation. Whether as Tar Pet or playing in Spires That In The Sunset Rise, Peterson has displayed an uncanny knack for experimental genre-breaking. All Summer Long Is Gone is a welcome reminder of Peterson’s success in de- and reconstructing genre barriers. PG Six’s Pat Gubler proves a strong complement to Peterson’s instincts, and vice versa.

Peterson takes on alto saxophone and vocal responsibilities across the record, while Gubler handles harp and synthesizers. Absent is the striking cello work of Louise Bock’s 2020 release, the superlative Sketch For Winter VII – Abyss: For Cello. In place of that record’s pointed starkness is a commitment to tranquil atmospherics and a delicate touch. “Traces Disappearing,” All Summer Long‘s opening track, establishes the pairing’s chemistry and sensibilities with ease. Both Gubler and Peterson approach their instruments with naturalistic, intuitive phrasing, and their interplay yields soft, quasi-romantic undertones.

Unfurling slowly while retaining a sharp lucidity is All Summer Long Is Gone‘s most unifying characteristic. No matter how fast, harsh, or frantic Peterson’s sax runs get, the subdued nature of Gubler’s playing laces them with restraint. There’s a near-paradox at work in this collaboration, something that’s especially evident on the title track, but the result is a mesmeric cacophony of arresting melancholy. “Crystalline City” is a perfect example of how, even at its airiest, the record never topples over into the superfluous. Arriving at around All Summer Long Is Gone‘s midway point, “Crystalline City” also injects the record with new life through brief, but gripping, vocal manipulations. While the sudden inclusion of vocals is sharp, it’s not jarring or intrusive, lending a curious layer to a record that sounds extraordinarily natural.

“Broken Water,” All Summer Long Is Gone‘s penultimate track, offers the strongest challenge to the at-ease nature of the record. It’s here that Peterson and Gubler lean into exploiting the dissonant tension that colors but never overwhelms the surrounding tracks. A convincing emulation of dripping water, a foreboding hum, and aggressively splintered sax work combine into a genuinely unnerving piece. A late-song effect escalates a creeping foreboding to a climactic peak before ultimately giving way to closer “The Wind Brings Enough,” which deftly combines the record’s distinct individual sensibilities and tactics into a hypnotic whole.

Haunting vocal work, pervasive melancholy, atmospheric tension, riveting sax figures, intuitive drone approximations, and a poignant delicacy in Peterson and Gubler’s playing congeal into a worthy finale, leaving a lingering sense that All Summer Long Is Gone will be viewed as an exceptional addition to both artists’ respective bodies of work.

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