Monotype

The title is an evident reference to Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting In A Room and also to Dan Warburton’s rather obscure Absurd release I Am Not Sitting In A Room With Reynols. This is the studio version of a piece conceived in 2008 for a concert in Ghent; Phill Niblock has a house there, and Al Margolis (aka If, Bwana) mixed the record in his kitchen. The main constituent is a “dense sludge” of all the Bwana records owned by Warburton, who subjected them to a thorough stretching to make them last exactly 45 minutes. Margolis in turn superimposed an alteration of pianist Guy Livingston playing Warburton’s “Speed Study I”. Local noises, both domestic and external, were also included. Despite this long explanation, you still won’t be able to guess how it all sounds, and indeed it’s quite difficult to compare it to anything else. The general feel is one of charged oppressiveness, as if someone had just told you that there would be no reason to smile for a week. Appreciating the quietly rumbling mass of permuted frequencies is not a prohibitive task, but it’s the way in which they engage with the numerous vocal ghosts appearing throughout the set that gives the music its character, which remains sinister to the end. A cultivated jumble of disfigured talking heads engulfed by a subsonic nimbus blemished by the kind of acoustic grime often found in Asher’s work. Not a concession to redolence of any kind, not an opening for the faintest light, a lot of indecipherable clandestine happenings. An example of introvert audio art that does not warrant immediate communication, leaving the listener with very few certainties about the whats and the whys.

Advertisements