Friday, August 25, 2006

William Basinski and Richard Chartier’s Untitled

William Basinski and Richard Chartier’s Untitled collaboration is a thing of rare and precious beauty. In a world of chaos and disorder, of audio overload and noise, this is a slowly developing oasis of calm. Analogue, disintegrating, near silence. It’s a post minimalism, post ambient masterpiece. Carved and polished soundscapes that intertwine like river tributaries in spring rain. The sounds slowly unwind and recoil, flicker and ring. The two pieces last nearly an hour but the level of listening, the shifting tone and timbre seems to stretch and fray the very fabric of time. This is music unbound by time scales, rhythm or order. Slight chromic colour changes, repeated musical lines that drift in static bliss but never rest. How such low bass rumbles, drones and loops conjure such abject beauty, such deep melancholy is a mystery. There is a depth here that encourages the listener to switch off from the outside world and float away in its trails of vapour. The flickers of melody, the dark reverberations carry an emotional power a real sense of loss. The friction and atmosphere is holistic and complementary. Allow yourself the time to delve into the sound world on offer here.

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