IN CAMERA – Frampton Comes Alive

La Scie Dorée

Christoph Heemann, Timo Van Luijk: unspecified instruments.

The guys are not lacking in irony, one would say. The explanation for the title is confined to the limits of our vision, but rest assured: no pentatonic scales on overdriven guitars here, not even a cover of “I’m In You”.

The 20-minute of the A side is delineated by nearly unmoving organ/keyboard chords and clusters, flutes in the acute register (layered without “educated” pretence, more like in a sort of Joujouka-connected manner) and what is perceived as hyper-processed guitars. The melodic fragments might link us with any residuum left by an early Pink Floyd-cum-Kosmische Kurier über-jam, the essential artlessness of the juxtapositions attributing additional degrees of healthiness to the music, further enhanced by tapes containing inner-city reverberations, long-distance radios (just maybe) and tweeting birds. Mesmerizing and otherworldly with handfuls of acoustic soil; very nice stuff in its increasingly bewitching development.

The two tracks comprised by the second half are both informed by the spirit of a piano. In the first it sounds muffled as if filled with pillows and played in insistent fashion (same gestures over and over, with a few “wrong” notes to add a touch of mystery to an otherwise Eno-esque approach). The surrounding drawn-out pitches fit in the overall texture attractively, leaving it suspended halfway through a comforting equanimity and a lingering sense of danger; some of the resonances tie the memory to the work of former Heemann partner Andrew Chalk (indeed, when listening to the couple’s individual production subsequent to their Mirror masterpieces, I cannot fail to decree how equally integral was each man’s donation to that project’s absolutely sui generis sound). Also upgraded by awesome low-frequency swoops, these somewhat disconsolate ruminations bear upon the psyche intensely. The last piece’s beginning is – for a change – mildly obsessive, a clearer image of the piano escorted by bizarre electronic wakes and sharper tones to render an enthralling, barely changing counterpoint. The rate of uniqueness and aural/spiritual gratification stays high throughout, in case you were wondering.

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