Two dignitaries of drone-based majesty – Phill Niblock and David Jackman – share an acoustic epiphany that decisively defined their work. In different circumstances, they have sustained the effects of a motorcycle’s engine on the sense of perception. In particular, many years ago Niblock risked an accident as he was following a truck, the adjacent soundwaves produced by the vehicles seriously destabilizing his balance.
Cut to Northern Tuscany, mid-70s to early 80s. A young man, who still had to learn an awful lot about real life’s issues, had a genuine passion for spending the afternoon of his summers alone in a railway area. The latter was close to a handful of marble and granite factories, whose machineries incessantly emitted a mesmerizing “rah-rah-rah” that merged wonderfully with the chant of innumerable cicadas and the scents coming from both the surrounding country and the nearby sea. To this day, I can affirm without hesitation that the exposure to that environmental mantra initiated a process of apprehension of the implicit harmony comprised by a noise, not to mention the unashamed attachment to drones. What’s more, those rituals fortified my belief in solitude as the only condition to reclaim crucial teachings from the cracks between sound and silence.
The similarity of Leif Elggren’s Motor For An Unknown Vehicle to these mnemonic treasures is the reason for our liking, hence an invitation for anyone who had similar experiences to plunge into this relatively short record with confidence. The huge pulse created by the Swedish artist is saturated with nerve-strengthening low frequencies, the continuity of the basic pattern regularly broken by an equally potent rowdy discharge. What remains to say is that this is the second chapter of a trilogy started with 2016’s Das Baank – looking forward to the final part, of course – and that the whole was originated by chunks of previous installations and concerts, collected and reworked by Elggren.