PETER WRIGHT – All The Sky In Flames

Distant Bombs

When a message comes in signaling a new outing by Peter Wright, the rest of the things expected to be done in that particular day is inevitably put aside for a few hours.

It’s been almost six years from our last writeup about the Christchurch loner. However, given the artist’s essential honesty there’s no worrying of senseless allusions to “quality” or “evolution”. You just know in advance that the outcome will be an aural type of reconciliation with the self. This will be due to wisely contrived pieces mainly capitalizing on the plangent features of the sources – processed guitars being the core of the matter – in synchrony with the listener’s environmental circumstances and impressions of the very moment. For this reviewer’s today, it’s something around the lines of “inwardly slumbering”. The damp gray morning – spectres of bare branches projected across the window in between the thick fog – certainly helps.

Released on cassette in an extremely limited edition, both sides of All The Sky In Flames comprise an unbroken flow of tracks. The underlying foundation is, of course, represented by trademark Wright drones; harmonic variations are kept at the minimum (although a simple yet truly moving chordal passage during an episode named “Sunroom Melodrama” is going to conquer anyone’s reluctance). The effective alterations are instigated – needless to say – by the inherent vacillation of the convening tones, periodically boosted by a conspicuous tremolo. They principally appear as pulsating undertones capable of totally deflating whatever remnant of ego one might be left with (references: the title track and the aptly titled “Defences Down”). Or else, they can be tarnished by a somewhat jangling harshness. Rarely we’re attacked, so to speak, by short bursts of pitches misshapen by distortion (and, on occasion, more convulsive uproar as in “No Weather Here”). Wright reminds us that navigating the seas of entrancement without keeping at least one eye open is not that safe.

Adding further words is pointless. This is another remarkable demonstration of uncontaminated skill by an unsung hero, and also a humbling lesson to thousands of dilettantes convinced that saturating the market with empty drones is warranted by the mere opportunity to record them.

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