Marc Barreca: Aberrant Lens (CD, Palace Of Lights, March 2017)

Cover art for Aberrant Lens

Confession of ignorance time: Marc Barreca has apparently been a big noise (as it were) in electronic ambient music since the late seventies, but I’d never encountered him until now. I’m happy to correct that, though, because this is a beguiling piece of work: twelve tracks that hover tantalizingly between ambient (but they’re too structured and substantial for that label to really stick) and classical (but they’re too thoroughly abstracted for that one), in which fragments of melody emerge out of shimmering atmospherics — often melodies that sound like the closing bars of a symphony that hasn’t been written yet. Half the time I can almost but not quite put my finger on what we’re listening to (the sleeve notes say it’s digital synthesis, accordion, uneducated guitar, sampled instruments, field recordings, and digital audio treatments; the label blurb mentions prepared guitars, pianos, Indonesian metallophones and glass harmonica). One that demands, and rewards, deep and repeated listening.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Modern Classical / Ambient.

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