Having inherited the burdensome title of torch-bearer for current and future developments of the post-ambient canon, William Basinski’s releases always generate expectancy and curiosity. The Garden of Brokenness‘ deceptive simplicity reveals instead a mnemonic archive of crumbling dreams, the composer himself declaring that the piece was inspired by the extremely desperate condition of life in this world. The Brooklyn loopscaper translates this feeling into music with an old piano and a handful of environmental recordings of what sounds like the traffic noise recorded in a tunnel, which, processed until nearly unrecognisable, wrap around the reflective sadness of the track’s basic arpeggio (something Brian Eno ca. “By This River” and “Julie With” would be proud of). The three-notes-plus-one figure is repeated, multi-layered, self-crossed and partially silenced in blurred fragments and spurts, making this as good as any of Basinski’s works since the celebrated Disintegration Loops, affirming his elegantly sorrowful personal signature and confirming that he’s not a shooting star but rather a sun in a sky that seems destined to be overcrowded by useless satellites.


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