PETER WRIGHT – Bright Failing Star

Release The Baths

Two sides (yes, it is a vinyl) of chiming-and-droning grace, a modicum of found sounds and voices from the street – a matter of minutes, really – and even fewer piano notes in the closing stages of the first half. A sinisterly gentler side of Wright, already perceived on his previous An Angel Fell Where The Kestrels Hover (on Spekk), which in any case will put lovers of guitar-driven blissful ecstasy in a pre-orgasmic state as usual.

The music unfolds deliberately, either via a reiterative pulse (Reichian echoes at the very beginning…) or with minor variations, plus a few milligrams of essential melody. The rest is complete inertia, nearing lethargy. What changes is the thickness of the sound, progressively emphasized or decreased by different kinds of equalizations and superimpositions. Feedback is always lurking there, ready to jump on the somnolent tranquillity and transform it into utter misery. It’s all so beautifully planned and constructed, so visibly liquefied, that one’s willing to accept whatever consequence the initial immobility might threat of bringing on. But it basically ends as violence unexpressed (apart from the glare of acrid chords appearing towards the end of the album), leaving us prepared for the next round of ringing harmonics, desolate jangle, tormented rapture. This lexicographer of six-stringed beatitude has grown his followers used to these gifts over the years, and we’ve become addicts by now.

The limited edition in my possession contains an additional CD comprising a live performance from Paris, recorded in 2007, which starts with the same preaching drunkard heard in the Snow Blind album and continues with one of the most gorgeous pieces of recent remembrance, halfway through divine quintessence and stoned imperturbability, until thorny shards of jarring clangour gradually annihilate any propensity to contemplation. Yet the set is sealed by birds and flies in between the country’s silence, before a polite applause by the meagre audience concludes the whole. Latecomers, get your eBay search alerts going.

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