Allusions to "Discrete Music" by Brian Eno abound on And Their Refinement of the Decline, but Stars of the Lid gives Ambient Music nuances that even its initiator did not fathom. Their double CD provides a range of music seemingly performed in slow motion - a constraint that did not prevent the composers from capturing many moods. Some pieces are chilly in their blankness, while others cling to the ears and speak to the heart. The sound of chamber instruments usually comes through, but SotL uses their distinct musical sensibility to re-arrange, even mutate, these sounds into an interesting composite atmosphere. Chords play and progress toward a resolution, but sometimes they get lost and float to the forefront over and over again. Long unhurried melodies emerge out of a soft aura of harmony. There's even a deconstructed pop song, somewhat identifiable at the beginning, which states its theme then drags itself down to a near standstill. SotL are fascinated with the inner life of tones. This work's looming ambiance is derived from an array of expressive shades of sound. Their music deals with a dimension of sculptural depth - a place where words are unnecessary and sound tells the story.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 30 March 2007