When you’re 25 and emerging out of a of cocoon of neo-classical chamber gawk and post-college Heidegger this is the kind of music that grabs you by the teeth. Grace and instrumentation of space. Two instruments supply a symphony of sounds, with a virtuosity all the more admirable for it’s improvised structure.
A lot of the sounds I first confronted on the “experimental” scene were harsh, unrelenting. A spiritual concavity to fill the spiritual void. My tastes have shifted in the past 5 years – and while I am glad that a few of the tracks on this record remain loyal to the aggressive sound wall in all it’s myriad of B.O. I am gladder this record is not only this. The structure of this album is victorious, frankly. It is a beaming display of technical multiplicity. Each track is very, very different from the next. I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic in stating the rareness of this occurrence. It takes methodological integrity, a regimented kind of ear, and passion for objective passion (comparatively speaking and likely not in that order) to breach this horizon. To clearly cut the boundaries of sound. To agree upon boundaries for the sake of quality and precision. Perhaps you must believe this, lest sound/noise forever trail behind humanity like a craving.
A lot of “experimental” music ultimately feels like a vendetta against other, unspecified forms. One could argue that parts of this record are like this, but not so brusque. We want to ask: against what? Because these tracks; the technique, the virtuosity, and especially the intelligence of dialogue doesn’t make you hold your head in reverb pain, asking why did they do this to you?! Nor does it rally obstreperous hate energy on all the prog rockers, nor subliminally promote pissing citrus on a Bentley. This tirade is constructive and intelligent (did I mention how intelligent sounding this record is?). It builds upon itself, posits extreme situations and musical civilizations, pushes the interior limits of crystallization. When the harsher tracks break off in spells of spatial exploration, we don’t feel the music is being self indulgent, or commenting on our own need to comment. The subtext is the context. And so you go to ask: what is this record responding to? on which style/school does it take revenge? You are left with little to articulate. Because the only vendetta a record like this could possibly have is against everything that takes away focus; on sound, on life – which is to say everything and nothing. Better just listen. Which is what this record does. It listens to it’s own choices, stakes, tempo, very carefully. And so we must be careful how we listen to it. Tend to our ears as a master does his rice. A sonic boom in a pin. The universe in a grain.