William Basinski Vinyl, CD & tapes by William Basinski at Norman Records
He's pretty famous, this one, and that's a weird thing to say about an ambient producer who isn't named Brian Eno. Enter William Basinski, a musical all-rounder with an interest in making slowly processed tape tunes. He started releasing music for old German label Raster-Noton back in the late '90s, but most of us started listening to him through his famous oughties project The Disintegration Loops. A long-running series with numerous entries, it saw Basinski loop a fragment of sound that slowly decayed on magnetic tape. From accident to intent, he crafted a gorgeous record, famously using a photo of the smoke coming from the World Trade Center towers on the day of their collapse.
It's a powerful record now steeped in lore, but it overshadows much more of the steady, perpetuating music Basinski has made in his career: the darkly romantic Melancholia, the gradually disappearing Cascade and the wonderful drone elegy A Shadow In Time. A master of minimalism, Basinski has rarely sought to make the same record twice, somehow creating different environments for his sound to live in. Compared to the aphoristic style of The Disintegration Loops, one can appreciate the flatlining chimes of Watermusic II as their very own thing. And he continues to expand his horizon, too: just check him out looping sounds for footwork artist Jlin on her Black Origami record.
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