Luke Wyatt`s Torn Hawk`s second long player for Mexican Summer has at its heart a romanticism touched on by his Lossmaker project, and hinted at in places on his previous release for the label “Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time”. A romanticism inspired, according to the press notes by Luke`s time spent with the works of architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich in the museums of his new “home town” of Berlin.
“Union And Return” is noticeably free of the Lo-Fi and distortion, the “distressed textures” (TM), that characterises his records for Ron Morelli`s L.I.E.S., and draws a Pop line through Modern Classical, prompting me to bark out comments like “a chamber orchestra cut and collaged by Eno & Byrne” and “the Penguin Cafe Orchestra imbibing Secret Circuit`s “Tropical Psychedelics”, and make hand-waving comparisons with Michael Nyman`s funkier moments, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Alexander Balanescu. Wyatt`s guitar playing still throws Vinni Reilly / Ry Cooder / Mark McGuire / The Edge shapes but the piano, at which these pieces were composed, does “Perpetuum Mobile” and “Music For A Found Harmonium” accompanied by string, brass and choir counterpoint. All of it tied to a timpani, a kind of an orchestral rendering of an Industrial beat, in fact like an orchestral rendering of Luke`s earlier output. Dizzyingly complex arrangements arising from compositions formed in flux, banging and crashing with what sounds like optimism. The feeling is celebratory, conjuring images, much like his 19th Century “muses”, of architecture full of light and cityscapes on clear, fresh, blue days.