R KEENAN LAWLER & JOHN KRAUSBAUER – Spectre Of Radiants

Ants

For some strange psychoacoustic reason, this track – ideally compared to the masterpieces of Phill Niblock, Eliane Radigue and Tony Conrad in the press release – reminds me of a variation on a fragment of the “Stille Nacht” theme carried on via superimposed reiterations (think Brian Eno’s treatment of the renowned Pachelbel canon on Discreet Music – but we’re at different altitudes over there).

Utilizing instruments not exactly typical of mantric minimalism (National Steel resonator guitars and banjos), Lawler and Krausbauer place their feet, without uncertainty, on a major tonal centre. The resulting chordal wash is forceful, substantial, not a trace of harsh clusters or harmonic suspensions of any kind. The overall sonority is more akin to a conclave of harmonicas than a layering of bowed guitars. The prevailing frequencies emerge in fact from the middle/high gamut, although strong subsonics transpire from the mix as well.

Virtually nothing changes for 44-plus minutes, which may be reasonable in terms of sonic (and mental) firmness. On the other hand, Spectre Of Radiants does not provide the genuine trips to nowhere and the fundamental inner directives gifted to empathetic audiences by the aforementioned composers throughout their honorable careers. It’s a passable trance album, nourished by the juices of the main drone, certainly working OK if played loud to charge the listening space. However – honestly speaking – my memories about it are not going to be indelible.

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