CHRIS ABRAHAMS – Memory Night

Room40

Chris Abrahams: unspecified instruments

Sparkling release by Abrahams, a fruitful cross of contradictory substrata stuffed with polychromatic designs and captivating sonorities; I didn’t get bored for a moment, which is saying something.

The record starts with “Leafer”: a steadily uneven ambiance, indistinct electronics accompanied by ominous subterranean thuds working as innate pulses. Tonelessly roaming waves leave room to increasingly vicious percussive events, which could be deriving – at least in part – from the innards of a piano.

“Bone And Teem” offers an ounce of cracked tunefulness (a-hem) due to the intrinsically canorous features of the timbres in use. The constructions remain utterly and eccentrically asymmetrical, enigmatic detonations lingering on as the piano becomes clearly perceptible in opposite ranges. Intrusively vibrant drones acting as building blocks of firmness as opposed to the whimsicality of the arrangements and incarnations of the other components. The episode’s second half introduces a clever management of distortion as we’re surrounded by an impression of acoustic threat that sounds electrifying, hiding random shockers. However, a general sense of solidity remains rather conspicuous. Unscathed rationality, anomalous exquisiteness ending in a celestial finale where peace seems to triumph at last.

“Strange Bright Fact” begins with an accelerated beat under the shape of a synthetic waveform. The piece steers right into the remote corners of an unspecified acousmatic location, in which manifestations of a supposed adjacent underworld – aptly manipulated – slap and hit the listener from every angle. The sources might be unattainable for our limited cerebral capacities, but their placement in the mix is virtually optimal. An “official” emergence of standard pianistic figurations startles a bit, still sounding consistent when compared with the rest of the track. This is finally hammered out by a veritable sonic blizzard: a vague resemblance to processed tunnel recordings, turning into a myriad of screaming squirrels undergoing electroshock treatment. Ultimately, one appreciates the superior qualities of the track’s overall narrative.

“Stabilized Ruin” appears as a permutation of several preceding instances. Digestibly kaleidoscopic architectures of electronic anarchy enriched by mangled and looped fragments. Circumstantial noises, pressurized hiss and reversed realities rendering the composition livelier and, in a way, alienating. Superb combination of protection and inquietude, familiar echoes altered and mixed in ways that force the brain to re-adapt. A worthy finish for a significant testimonial of unhindered creativity.

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