LOOPER – Dying Sun

Another Timbre / Cathnor

Looper is the trio of Nikos Veliotis, Martin Küchen and Ingar Zach, their respective instruments cello, reeds and percussion (this is not authenticated on the cover, some of the sounds heard in this CD definitely suggesting the presence of electronic emanations). Dying Sun is a superb effort that must be absorbed in total stillness – and, possibly, loneliness – throughout lots of listening sessions. Even a beloved family member interrupting the flux with mundane matters is going to damage the experience. This is the kind of substance that defines a moment of a person’s life very precisely, either implying different mental stances or reinforcing the pre-existing ambition to a salubrious isolation. It’s not for everybody. This lack of democracy should be a rule to follow for artists interested in fusing themselves with the quintessence of vibrational matter rather than getting recognized at all costs.

“Grand Redshift” starts with an underlying hum broken by percussive/abrasive insertions and a slow tolling. A Radigue-like mass expands, the ears begin to adapt, the skull is gradually saturated. The load is augmented by occlusive low frequencies, a basic pulsation and calculated dynamic fluctuations. A few harmonics seem to adjust to the room, the accumulation becoming gently invasive. It changes noticeably depending on the position you’re in. Dissonant whispers appear, the cello growls mutely, mixed with classic mouthpiece-and-tube activities. A circular snoring of sorts materializes, followed by more humming. Patterns – albeit atypical – exist, electronics (or whatever it is) acting subliminally on the perceptive mechanisms. Quiet elements that elicit sensations of impending disaster. Cyclical creaking camouflaged within the reeds, a regular rhythmic tapping subtending a lengthy stretch. No one seems willing to come to the forefront, the single components measurable nonetheless. Dropping drones, think “fragments of engine”, get highlighted by a rough whirr underneath. Ineluctability reigns without openings to light, evoking pessimism. An engrossing listen, anyway.

“Hazy Dawn” is introduced by a cymbal (gong?) resonance accompanied by an irregular buzz, faint overtones materializing shortly thereafter. It justifies feelings of involvement, preoccupation and alertness, its reverberating halos taking command little by little. The piece is so beautiful, a restrained composition picking the “right” inside strings; we have always belonged herein. And, unfortunately, it is too short. “Near Eternity” is even simpler: fixed pitches akin to controlled feedback, the repetitiveness of a remote bump, the gradual diminishing of already weak signals ending the segment by leaving a huge question mark hanging over our heads.

One of the top three releases in both imprints’ catalogue, simple as that. A charged restraint will forever overcome a dull silence.

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