TOMAS PHILLIPS / DEAN KING – Les Mailles

Monochrome Vision

The English rendering of the record’s title (“meshes”) is an implicit allusion to film director Maya Deren’s Meshes Of The Afternoon (1943), considered her finest achievement. An analogous usage of techniques that combine apparently disunited representational processes and uncommon associations characterizes this bewitching album, a release from 2008 that seems to have slipped under many people’s radars (including mine). It would be painless, for a superficial beholder, to line Les Mailles in the “ambient” section given its unassertive attributes and the curricula of its composers. Indeed these quasi-oneiric textures work especially well as one’s allowed to let them stream at low volume in absolute muteness; Phillips and King have managed to paint an atemporal organization of fleeting audio images whose frequency quantifications get magnified and interiorly enhanced by the sensitive motility that maybe someone still owns. Vice versa, trying to insert them amidst the noises of a regular domestic environment becomes a meaning-annihilating gesture, a breaking of the fundamental rules which should always underlie the act of listening to music – not only when made of electronic shadows and manipulated location recordings, but in general. These sounds survive reality for a few seconds, then smile at the listener and vanish without returning, causing a respectable number of “stop-and-contemplate” episodes in the meantime.

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