Friday, April 30, 2010

William Basinski: Disintegration Loops I-IV (4.5/5)

Year: 2001 & 2003
Genre: Ambient Minimalism
Label: 2062
TRT: I: 74:28 II: 74:31 III: 72:28 IV: 74:25

There's something disturbingly fascinating about death. Something intrinsically beautiful in matter changing form.

The raccoon carcass you stare at, even though you're revolted by it. The sickly sweet smell of decay, that for the moment before it's source is identified tickles your nostril in a most pleasant way.

I for one have always been intrigued by decay in all forms. Animals, trees, buildings, whatever. I think that's a big part of why these recordings resonate so strongly within me.

Basinski was attempting to transfer some of his oldest works from magnetic tape to digital files, but the tapes were too worn, too tired and too fragile to survive the process.

So what we get instead, is the sound of oblivion. As the tapes deteriorated before his eyes, Basinski kept recording, and captured the final mournful vibrations of forgotten genius, in all it's entropic beauty.

I find it a bit ironic that what has become Basinski's most well known work was birthed from the destruction of something no one ever got to hear.

Disintegration Loops
01 DLP 1.1
02 DLP 2.1

Disintegration Loops II
01 DLP 2.2
02 DLP 3

Disintegration Loops III
01 DLP 4
02 DLP 5

Disintegration Loops IV
01 DLP 6
02 DLP 1.2
03 DLP 1.3

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Friday, April 23, 2010

2nd Gen: Irony Is (5/5)

Year: 2001
Genre: Progressive Industrial Electro Beat
Label: novamute
TRT: 39:57

I was not looking for this album when I found it. It's almost as if it found me. I'm still not quite sure how I stumbled upon it during a casual browsing of my favorite music-related website (what could that be?).

From the first few seconds of And/Or I was mesmerized. I was bombarded with an onslaught of the cold and mechanical, the grim and calculated. The only artist comparison I can draw is a more beat oriented Azure Skies, though even that is a thin description at best.

It's a shame his follow-up doesn't even come close to matching the ferocity and raw energy found here, but regardless, this is one of my best finds in a long time, and I'm currently obsessed with it.

01 And/Or
02 Slowburn
03 Buried
04 Black Spring
05 Vurt
06 Musicians are Morons
07 Scarred
08 Measurement 9
09 Schism
10 Irony Is

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