Cale Parks
Illuminated Manuscript
Sep 26, 2006

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In between recording takes for yet another critically acclaimed Aloha album (Some Echoes), Cale Parks began work on the solo material that soon found its way onto Illuminated Manuscript. Parks split time between several cities as he wrote and recorded all of the songs on the album. The result is an intimate but intricate bedroom ambient electronic sound where keyboards and mallet instruments mix with sparse vocals and a television or the occasional cat meowing in the background.

Best known as the classically trained drummer and percussionist for Aloha, Parks has also recorded with Joan of Arc, White Williams and Passion Pit.

Songs

  • 1
    Pretty Boring (4:23)
  • 2
    Galaxy 8180 (2:08)
  • 3
    Tiny Theme (4:04)
  • 4
    Halls of Avalon (2:14)
  • 5
    I Am the Arm (3:19)
  • 6
    Late Show (3:56)
  • 7
    Wet Paint (4:24)
  • 8
    Me At Home (3:29)
  • 9
    This Garden Is a Maze (2:37)
  • 10
    Fearsome Opponent (4:39)
  • 11
    Moccasin Bend (3:47)
  • 12
    Beat Masheen (4:51)
  • 13
    Moonsuits Always Fit (Bonus Track) (5:15)
  • 14
    Miss My Little Wizard Co-Pilot (Bonus Track) (3:11)

Reviews

It has the flow and sweeping scope of works like Radiohead's Kid A or Bright Eyes' Digital Ash in a Digital Urn... a masterpiece...

Insomnia Radio

If Phil Spector had teamed up with Brian Eno and Tortoise to make his holiday music, it would've sounded horribly (and by horribly I mean amazingly) akin to Cale Parks Illuminated Manuscript, with is nothing short of brilliant.

SLUG

Illuminated Manuscript plays as a creative catharsis from Parks' day-to-day avant-garde endeavors. These instrumental tracks range from wistful ambience conjuring Brian Eno ("Pretty Boring," "I am the Arm") to sonic explorations of cryptic lyrical enigmas ("Galaxy 8180," "Wet Paint").

Seattle Sound

On his solo effort, Illuminated Manuscript, Aloha-drummer Cale Parks takes the experimental blueprint for his band's work and morphs it into a collection of ambient (yet structured) songs, featuring nothing but keyboards, electronic drum sounds, and mallet instruments. Cale's live percussion and fragile vocals add warmth to the otherwise-electro grooves, and the record is a perfect loop for drifting in and out of focus on hazy, lazy days.

Stereogum

Illuminated Manuscript succeeds as a record that defies musical conventions and expectations, simply by augmenting them into greater, more eloquent forms. Given Parks' day-to-day gigs, however, defying expectation has to be expected.

Three Imaginary Girls

For the sweet-toothed silent type, the album is a perfect breezy day companion - a humble, unpretentious success of atmospheric ambience and thoughtful theatrics, energetic enough to set hearts aflutter while still allowing for an introspective and calming listening experience.

Urban Pollution

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