KEVIN DRUMM – Recline

Self Release

“Speakers please. Yes, it’s quiet”. That’s all we know from the composer.

Now, the question is: what is the reason for reviewing a (long) record consisting of humming auroras and immeasurable murmurs in 2017, namely in a historic juncture where everybody but my town’s postman is releasing drones? The answers are two.

First one: it’s a significant illustration of how this type of work should be offered. No frills, no inflation of crackhead theories linked with arcane renditions of physical laws regulated by what Glenn Branca would define “some invisible man”. It’s just you, the (hopefully) quivering nucleus of the individual organism, and a series of swelling frequencies that – in the best scenario – set in motion a mechanism of close union with the immaterial (read: non-verbal) constituents of knowledge. Second: Kevin Drumm, an incredibly prolific artist, has always been regarded here as a reliable representative of mind-numbing sonic cosmogony, in spite of a relative paucity of writeups concerning his output.

In terms of sheer audible phenomena we might declare this music as relatively “tonal”, so to speak. The unfolding of its ataraxic continuance pushes it closer to the places where the black stars hang – wink, wink – than, say, Phill Niblock’s imperceptible shifting of beating clusters. Illiterate specimens will find ways to stick the “ambient” label on this matter; it can’t be done, not even for twenty seconds. The acoustic intensity, although masterfully compressed, varies rather consistently along the 116 minutes. Picture yourselves observing a single light managed by a mixing setup: gradually dimming one moment, coming back with an increased level of fluorescence the next.

But it’s still that light. The path towards rational obliteration is rendered much clearer by its radiation. All it takes is a modicum of residual strength, plus the absolute estrangement from classification systems grounded on cheap talk.

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