William Basinski & Janek Schaefer: …On Reflection (digital, Temporary Residence, April 2022)

William Basinski needs no introduction here. Janek Schaefer is new to me, but he’s in the Guinness Book Of Records for inventing “the most versatile record player. Called the tri-phonic turntable, it can play three records at once through a built in mixer, play them forwards or backwards, and possesses a vari-speed which can play the records from 1.5–77.5 rpm”, so you can see why the two of them got along.

These five tracks (ranging from 5 to 13 minutes) are all centred around a couple of piano loops, deftly manipulated into a myriad of intricate structures, like a beam of light shining through a slowly spinning crystal. This is, of course, utterly delightful. (Just check out the melody which emerges about 25 seconds into the second track. Swoon!) What really fascinates me is the extensive use of field recordings, of everything from birdsong to passing traffic, which tears that classic (sorry, Janek) Basinski sound out of the studio and plonks it firmly in the real world. Magical stuff.

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

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