Sunday, 26 April 2009



The excruciatingly grieving mood that characterized The Disintegration Loops – William Basinski’s stylistic trademark and most renowned work – is back with a vengeance in 92982, a title corresponding to the date in which these tapes were originally manipulated to conjure up additional hues from the regions of infinite regret. After numerous attentive listens I’m still at a loss for words, such is the nearly metaphysical condition of unspecified anguish which this music elicits.

You could try and inspect Basinski’s creations with a microscope each and every time, systematically failing to label the Texan's gift as he chooses an uncomplicated harmonic sequence, loops it, layers that circular progression over and over to uncoil reminiscences depicting human decay. It’s the same aura irradiated by a portrait of an aging man who has no more reasons in life to smile at the camera. The artist’s ability is especially evident in the reiteration that opens and closes the CD, a cycle of tonal shades that can’t fail in bringing forth a sense of absolute non-belonging, that kind of inside emptiness that materializes in sensitive adolescents when they see a beloved person smiling to someone else, or when equally vulnerable children realize that no one will attend their birthday’s party. Call it “decisive delusion”, a crucial phase of existence that establishes if one’s ready for adulthood or will forever need to be reassured by moms, dads, teachers, gurus or divinities until the transformation into a total no-hoper is completed.

In particular, the concluding section – the composer’s recent reworking of the opening track’s original loop – is a two-chord ebb-and-flow that seem to express the theoretical spectrum of resonances needed to render the transition from flesh-and-bone mortality to pure energy. It easily compares to the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard, and its uncontaminated ecstasy could go on everlastingly. Also, more concrete aspects are observed when listening via headphones: the open-window mayhem of the second part, recorded while everyone was working and the phone kept ringing at Basinski’s studio that day, includes police sirens, traffic noises and, in general, metropolitan echoes that cover the dramatic colours of the main “theme” with a patina of smoggy grime. On the other hand, dig the tape machine’s dysfunctional behaviour in the third chapter, whose concept had already been exploited in Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive (Die Stadt). Mechanic nuances that contribute to a desolate representation, again giving the idea of something that’s not going to work for long before its definitive demise.

As yet another rainy afternoon elapses, it looks like the shadows of an uncertain future are trying to ingest the interior fortitudes of those who are by now conscious of the complete pointlessness of tormenting others with archetypal afterlife issues. There are people in this universe who don’t feel constrained to open the mouth to convey a deeper awareness, and there are rare specimens of beings prepared to disregard private sufferance and daily inanities in order to let their quintessence silently acknowledge the supremacy of evocative reverberation upon anything else.

Godly entities might not exist, but the presence of guardian angels becoming visible through certain kinds of sound is a truth that I’m willing to accept.