RAPOON – Songs From The End Of The World

Glacial Movements

Legend has it that Robin Storey spent a number of years of his youth in complete silence. If this is true, that alone could be the reason for utter admiration. Then, of course, there’s the constant presence in our listening life: both Zoviet France and Rapoon appear quite frequently among the resonating ectoplasms populating our daily trips (no, it is not meant in a lysergic acceptation). Heaven knows if he remembers the letters we exchanged over a lengthy span in the first half of the 90s, at the early stages of Rapoon’s cycle. All of the above explains why, every time that the occasion arises to check what Storey is doing, we’re all for it in the name of a fundamental respect that has never vanished in spite of a declared preference for the older material.

Songs From The End Of The World is a fascinating album for reasons disconnected from a mere sheen factor. Indeed, in terms of immediate gorgeousness it does not even compare to Storey’s finest hours. Still it’s a gripping statement in its own peculiar way, in that it offers no mnemonic handle to clutch at and no comparative light whose halo might suggest interpretations different from its sheer existence as a sonic object in a definite context. The trademark loops are as always essential, yet the listener gets occasionally surprised by strikingly “normal” occurrences (for example, simple piano figurations and barely processed samples and/or presets). More than anything else the voice – apparently utilized in a mix of natural timbre and harmonized pitch transposition across several tracks – furnishes the music with traits of unconsciousness and flexibility at once. Admittedly, a bit of perplexity and a mute “mmmhh” had prevailed at the outset. However, in the subsequent spins your chronicler started to familiarize again with Rapoon’s unique ability in generating highly individual soundscapes while retaining the most important feature of his art. Which is honesty.

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