Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Artist: First Tone
Title: Reactions
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Spectrum Spools
The duo of Turk Dietrich and Duane Pitre have been collaborating on sound for years, but this is their debut set of available recordings. It doesn’t sound like the work of a duo, in that it’s a simple and direct vision of atmospheric drone and tone with a singular purpose, devoid of any of the back-and-forth or turbulence that collaborative work can be imbued with.

The meat of the release is four long pieces, that average around 12 minutes each. “Reaction 1” is slightly gritty with a mildly sinister hollow and metallic drone tone (exhibiting a gentle tension which re-emerges in short piece “Recollection” later on), whereas “Reiterations” has a far more pure and melodic make-up that opens with a powerful and emotive call before settling into flatter tones. “Reaction 2” offers up synthesis that feels very organic, and quite clarinet-like at times, but still with a hint of artifice and alienation.

Ultimately this is ambient soundscaping across well-worn territory, and while there’s undoubtedly a rich sonic quality here, it does seem to fall just a little short in terms of unique texture or distinctive character. It’s a very pleasant 55-minute way to fall asleep, undoubtedly, but if you’re alert and looking for sonic detail, you may find this is the wrong kind of ambient for you.


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