Kansas City’s Christopher McFall began to pull together these tracks after moving in a studio situated in an erstwhile flourishing part of the town, an area where “avenues were rife with commerce and business”. As it happens, the cheerful times didn’t last and those environs – where the composer still works – have deteriorated to the point of wreck, thus prompting him to illustrate the place as “The City Of Almost”.
McFall has awakened our interest time and again throughout the latest months, thanks to superbly conceived pieces that give a voice to that unfathomable, lump-in-the-throat glumness brought forth by desperation and neglect, particularly when referred to a desolate kind of metropolitan wretchedness. Yet he’s able to extract the vital juice that renders those depressing snapshots nearly desirable, or at least akin to the sense of belonging that humans helplessly seek out for the whole extent of their inconsequential life. Feeling in synch with a bleak quarter is one of those inexplicable frames of mind producing a blend of sorrow and interior peace, and McFall captures exactly that balance in the recordings. His soundscapes contain crumbling gatherings, underground lamentations, postindustrial-like whirring secretions and, the most fascinating characteristic of this very disc, what appears as mourning chorales of mutely weeping souls, appearing every once in a while to remind about the complete unreliability of good intentions, rapidly swept away by a single event or the necessity of adapting even to a disgusting compromise, if only to keep living to tell the tale.
The ill-omened loops and intimidating spirals defining the overall aesthetic of this album in a track such as “All Parts Contained” distance the work of this man from the humdrum-drone activities of our day’s dumb multitudes, placing The City Of Almost in the restricted-access room containing the few authentic masterpieces of grief-eliciting music.