Saturday, 27 February 2016

James Holden, Camilo Tirado, Luke Abbott - Outdoor Museum of Fractals 555Hz, album review

Potent Looping

Linked to a commemoration of Terry Riley's 8oth birthday recently, and more generally as homage to his work - and for those like me who have a narrower appreciation, that will essentially be A Rainbow in Curved Air - the two pieces on this album are brilliantly evocative of Riley's iconic [I think this is fair to use in his case] looping/repeating instrumental genius.

First, James Holden's Outdoor Museum of Fractals is the more familiar Riley-esque piece, using a programmed synthesiser [sequencer and modular synthesiser] to generate mesmerising patterns, superbly accompanied by Camilo Tirado on tabla. Second, Luke Abbot's 555Hz is a more drone-based circling construction, but it too attains its hypnotic heights with more fuzzed effects.

There are a number of informed reviews out there that analyse the numerical workings of both these pieces, but for me they are simply stunning musicscapes. These two make interesting listening in juxtapositon with the two 'classical' albums I reviewed yesterday - both tracks on this one album the same length as those two albums combined - and of course the effect is quite different in terms of sustained sound and sonic dynamism, but similarly meditative [though 555Hz works more like a potent drug].

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