Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Valerio Tricoli / Thomas Ankersmit Forma II (Pan) CD - From the same label that brought us Keith Fullerton Whitman's Disingenuity b/w Disingenuousness LP comes Forma II, recorded across two years by Ankersmit and Tricoli, here exploring the electro-acoustic/music concréte micro-verse via Serge Modular Analog synth and saxophone, run through a barrage of computer and tape manipulation across six tracks ranging from 6 to 15 minutes. The results are deeply textured sound dreams that merge the organic and mechanic into a blur of abstracted tones that sound as "natural" as the para-mechanical world we live in, where subatomic events are an every day, perceivable occurrence. Here they're blown up under the microscope, dissected and exploded apart before being reassembled into gorgeous minimal/drone/noise hybrids ideal for high-fidelity submersion thanks to Rashad Becker's excellent mastering job. This sounds incredible on the proper system. Pan's proprietor Bill Kouligas (Family Battle Snack, Sudden Infant) and Kathryn Politis provide the brain-tickling cover art. Not a second (or sound) wasted.

Æthenor En Form For Blå (VHF) 2LP - The latest dispatch from Stephen O'Malley's abstract drone/doom/improv ensemble is another moody trawl through the dark waters of atmospheric spontaneous live performance. Percussion, guitars, bass, Fender Rhodes and who knows what else are employed with two members of Ulver -- Daniel O'Sullivan and Kristoffer Rygg -- and Steve Noble rounding out the quartet. These seven tracks were culled from three live shows captured in Norway in 2010, though you'd be hard pressed to discern such given the sound quality and music concréte like detail of much of what's captured here. The results offer up at times nightmarish, bass heavy delirium, and at other time almost skeletal prog metal infusions -- see the ghost doom mid section of "One Number of Destiny in 99" -- which almost immediately drift back into the foggy depths from whence they came. En Form For Blå may not be as strikingly formidable as its predecessor, Faking Gold and Murder, but what it lacks in immediacy it more than makes up for with progressive scope and surreal mood. A worthy addition to this ensemble's legendary discography. Pressed on lily-white vinyl to make it all go down that much easier.

1 comment:

poppyallgood said...

Now there's a fine-looking pair.