Tacoma musician Joel Cuplin is probably best known as vocalist/guitarist in the ruggedly aggressive rock band Constant Lovers, as well as for his guitar embellishments in the disco-funk outfit Select Level. But on the new 30-minute "Sapphire in Elevation," Cuplin enters a new sphere of sound that has more in common with the transcendent minimalism of Terry Riley and Harold Budd than with the Amphetamine Reptile-esque howling of Constant Lovers. It's a move that I wish more rock musicians would make, if only because one cannot live by noisy catharsis alone; frequently, there must be wafting tranquility to balance out the clenched fists and the angst that afflicts anyone paying attention to the news in the 21st century.
With help from Select Level/Afrocop's Andy Sells on drums, Cuplin uses saxophone and piano to create a cosmic reverie that strives mightily to achieve his goal "to annihilate all negative energy." After tonight's State of the Uniom blooper reel, you're going to need to play "Sapphire in Elevation" at least a few times to cleanse yourself of the virulent mendacity.