Slaapwel

The Belgian label in question is specialized in doze-inducing music – its name translates as “sleep well”. The artistic criterion for publishing releases is that the material must cause label’s boss Wim Maesschalk to nod off before the record is ended (!), so you have an idea of what kind of stuff we’re talking about here. But I, for one, wasn’t caught in the trap of somnolence: the 33 minutes that [Ralf] Steinbrüchel engendered by overlapping and electronically manipulating layers of gentle guitar arpeggios (by Daisuke Miyatani), although obstinately revolving around a single harmonic fulcrum – one chord in fact – draw out palpable hums and resonances, mostly from medium-to-low frequencies which, in a large enough room, can easily swell and completely encircle the listener. The effect is somewhat reminiscent of Laaraji’s entrancing Day of Radiance, and the work of Andrew Chalk might also be a useful pointer, although Home is definitely less blurred at the edges of timbre and more monotonous (not necessarily a bad thing). Nothing else to report, but I can heartily recommend this CD to sufferers from anxiety attacks and tension in general. Not a masterpiece, but almost perfect to soothe the nerves.

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