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Music

William Basinski: On Time Out Of Time (LP, Temporary Residence, March 2019)

William Basinski has a remarkable ability to seemingly distil the essence of a moment in time and stretch it out to epic durations. So it seems appropriate for him to tackle the subject of black holes, where gravitational time dilation means that (to an outside observer) a clock will appear to slow and stop as […]

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William Basinski: A Shadow In Time (LP, 2062, January 2017)

As I’ve mentioned before, you don’t expect a new William Basinski album to be a radical departure: almost imperceptible evolution is more his thing. But this does feel like a little bit of a step forward. The self-titled A-side is 17 minutes of tape loops supplemented by a Voyetra 8 synth and other electronics, apparently […]

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Music

William Basinski: Cascade (CD, 2062, April 2015)

This record isn’t exactly going to be a surprise to anyone who knows Basinski. It’s basically three or four bars of a simple piano melody, looped and recorded and re-recorded and allowed to decay, so that the interplay of the imperfections slowly builds. This is less monumental and less freighted with meaning than my last […]

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Music

William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops (Special Edition) (5xCD+1xDVD, Temporary Residence, November 2013)

So, we have to start with the stories. Here’s the first story: In 2001, William Basinski came upon some tape loops of slowed-down recordings from radio which he’d made in the 1980s, back before he got (relatively speaking) famous in the ’90s. He decided to transfer them to digital, set the loops going, and hit […]

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Music

I made a playlist: You Have Fallen Down A Well (But It Is Okay)

My partner has a thing where she posts selections of tunes on her Instagram Live, and she asked me to do a guest slot yesterday. The brief she gave me was “You Have Fallen Down A Well (But It Is Okay)”. I decided to restrict myself to the last decade or so, because more constraints […]

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My albums of 2019

Time for my albums of the year. It’s just about possible that this list will give a hint about what I needed to get from music in 2019: mostly calm, with a little bit of escapism. As always, there are several records I’m gutted to have to exclude. This year, that includes releases by Croatian […]

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Music

Clarice Jensen: For This From That Will Be Filled (LP, Miasmah, March 2018)

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for some cello-based drone music, and Clarice Jensen has provided four rather dreamy examples of it here. The first track, bc, was composed in collaboration with the late and sorely lamented Jóhann Jóhannsson, and sounds very much like a tribute to William Basinski, so that’s ticking a whole bunch […]

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Music

My albums of 2017

Alright, then, popkids, time for my annual round-up… I listened to lots of great records this year, thanks everyone! My longlist included records by Aiden Baker & Karen Willems, Colleen, Duran Duran Duran, Hior Chronik, Kelly Lee Owens, Marcus Fjellström, Still, and William Basinski, but none quite made the final cut. I spent a long time with a shortlist of […]

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Music

Alva Noto: Xerrox (Vol. 3) (CD, Raster-Noton, April 2015)

From about a minute in, it’s pretty clear we’re in for a treat here. The Xerrox project has always been at the lush ambient end of Alva Noto’s output, so different from the razor-sharp glitch of, say, Unitxt. But this he’s outdone himself here: there is a huge depth of emotion just humming out of […]

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Music

My albums and (new feature!) track of 2013 (an out of band post)

Time for another annual round-up. In addition to picking my top albums, which has been giving my fun and headaches for four years now, I’ve added a top track selection, which is basically me cheating to get myself out of a tricky position. In alphabetical order, my Albums Of 2013 are: French avant-garde poetry and […]