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I was amazed when I saw what William Basinski looked like. Him being adopted by the more highbrow mob I expected him to be well dapper in some fancy suits or even some comfy jumpers... I didn't expect him to look as LA Metal as he does. I like it though.... It's good when folks confound expectations.... and with a new Basinski CD comes great expectations these days as his work gets more revered as ...

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Vivian & Ondine by William Basinski
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
9/10 Phil Staff review, 07 January 2010
I was amazed when I saw what William Basinski looked like. Him being adopted by the more highbrow mob I expected him to be well dapper in some fancy suits or even some comfy jumpers... I didn't expect him to look as LA Metal as he does. I like it though.... It's good when folks confound expectations.... and with a new Basinski CD comes great expectations these days as his work gets more revered as his catalogue increases. As ever it's one long 45 minute piece of work constructed from tape loops. The story behind this one is ole Will wanted to get some music to help his friend give birth as things weren't happening. He made this gorgeous piece of music and lo and behold the next day a wee Vivian was born. Also his cousin had a kid called Ondine and thus you get Vivian and Ondine... just like magic. You get into a sort of trance listening to this as the waves literally flow over you sending you off to another nicer place than where you already are (hopefully!). It's quite a hauntological sounding loop reminding me a wee bit of some of the Caretakers warmer moments. Within a couple of minutes of the album starting you're sucked into this cyclical beautiful sounding loop and you feel utterly immersed. It doesn't really do much else either but wierdly I'm happy for it to stay where it is as it's a lovely place! You won't find a better way to spend 45 minutes this week.....Very lovely indeed and heartily recommended

8/10 manuel chill Customer review, 24th July 2010

I first heard this forty-five minute piece accompanied by a recording of various readers reading selections from an anthology of poetry including Elizabeth Bishop's The Fish.  I fondly remember that Friday morning on my beautiful commute through the country turning on WXYC (live stream available at www.wxyc.org) out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  At the time I thought that both the poetry readings and the music were one piece of work recorded together rather than improvised by the brilliant disc jockey on the air at the moment.  This Basinski piece is far too etherial and mysterious to be classified as Steve-Reich-style minimalist.  It seems to be a simple layering of tape loops yet has a subtle inexplicable complexity that keeps it moving forward.  Would easily fall under the category of "wikkid".  ;-)


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