Saturday, July 11, 2020
«« »»
Artist: William Basinski (@)
Title: The Disintegration Loops II
Format: CD
Label: MMLXII(2062) (@)
One can't do without some historical data on THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS II. Two acts of destruction are merged in one creative idea. Two "minuses" have turned into "pluses" with mathematical precision: the falling of NY twins and the once and for all flaking magnetic tape that has been storing William's records for ages. There are no transformations in sight within the cyclical movement of loops. No contrasts, just one big, amorphous cloud, kaleidoscopically lighted from without. Its compositions, once smooth and flexible, have not been reborn, but rather taken another stance, thanks to a magnetic tape. The dynamic reincarnation has hidden the past beyond the silent memory, leaving to us only what's on show here. The curious thing in this album's idea is the intersection of attitudes - the parting with the past in order to create in the present and the saving of the present in order not to forget in the future.

The opportunity to see William's video-installation, which emphasizes the roots of this work, will bring immeasurable rewards. Let us just say that the video is nothing else than the fixing of day-long fading of American emblem - the skyscrapers of World Trade Center. Rolling clouds of smoke and dust, sucked in by the clear sky in an attempt to hide its inappropriate smoothness, the shifts of lighting and the dark silhouettes of city domes and roofs, watching the agonized convulsions of their gaudy neighbors from a distance.

A clarinetist with a classical background, expressive jazz saxophonist and stylish composer William Basinski doesn't live any space for boredom and indifference. His trademark technique - mixing and overdubbing several melodic loops - sounds quite simple, but from this simplicity his delicate and abrasive ambient aquarelles are born.

The first of a couple of long compositions is "D|P 2.2". The crunching and whooshing surround snatches of sound that stir the calm smoothness of light and blurry melodic line. The crackling and droning sounds seem like they're trapped in the cabin of a roller coaster. The slow ascending to the next peak and the shivers of impatience are running through the body as the heart ceases to beat and in the middle of a sigh we are thrown down again to the abyss which is instantaneous, strangely attractive and inescapable. The next round, deceptively similar to the previous one, will find us in completely another, excited state. On the next peak the throw down will not be so sharply felt, we will feel the desire to retain the regular breath in order to be able to see everything that's visible from the point of the beginning of falling. The irrepressible oblivion will turn into the heat of a hunter.

The music of William is not a landscape, it's the air filled with ozone, made sparser by the wind and colored by sun blisters. The stamp of beauty is found on every bit of it, the beauty as the only constant force which is visible even during the saddest moments. The gentle melancholy, which is especially felt in the second composition on the disc "D|P 3", does not break the inner harmony. It is changing the balance of moods, but doesn't bring any mess of feelings. The sound flows freely in our veins, it seems, instead of being limited by space enclosed within the walls. The crystal flow of sound penetrates each living cell, enveloping the insides, filling us with unexplainable freshness, relaxing, giving strength, unobtrusively healing and remaining after it's gone. Hypnotized, we leave the headphones lying on the table after completing this journey together with the music, taking this calm, ever-staying beauty with us. The pulsating atmosphere becomes part of us. It's out of reach for unconsciousness because it's not a phenomenon, but a natural, universal rhythm.


< Previous Review | Next Review >