GAVIN PRIOR – Clusters

Fort Evil Fruits

I like Gavin Prior’s definition of the instrument from which this work essentially materialized: “an everyday digital piano”. That goes to show how ordinary musical objects can translate a state of (relative) consciousness into trenchant music, provided that an equally intense flow of acoustic energy is individuated and exploited. The self-explanatory Clusters – a succinct collection of bitingly dissonant, ebbing-and-flowing drones coming on a cassette in a 60-copy limited edition – is one of those releases that instantly hit the right spots, at least for listeners used to analogous productions. The reason lies in the wavering malevolence of the conflicting overtones, an element abundantly featured in all the five tracks. Prior layered massive amounts of caustic frequencies to a point of extreme saturation, generating soundscapes whose textural quality is at the same time bewitching and noxious. The composer quotes Xenakis and Radigue in the presentation (about the latter, I tend not to agree), and we could perhaps add a tiny pinch of Nurse With Wound in there. At any rate, it’s not recommendable to draw comparisons when the original substance is rich to begin with. Which is absolutely the case here.

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