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- Tombstones by Michael Pisaro
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Michael Pisaro is, as I gather, Co-chair of the Composition and Experimental Sound Practices department at the California Institute of the Arts, finding himself mentor and collaborator to the likes of John Maus, Ariel Pink and now Julia Holter, the latter of whom appears among the eight-piece ensemble he has put together to accompany him on this album, the underlying concept of which seems to be taking the pop formula and slowing it down as much as possible.
The press release and a sticker on the sleeve both make reference to legendary Houston DJ Screw, one of the true pioneers of slowing music down on the streets, but actually this slowly-unfurling collection of drones and hums and wibbles bears far more resemblance (to these ears at least) to the somnolent, stretched out melodies of Stars of the Lid and Arvo Part, or the electro acoustic minimal gorgeousness of Johann Johannsson’s more recent but no less classic ‘Virthulegu Forsetar’, although the silky vocal hums often have a slightly unsettling effect which reminds me a little of Laurel Halo’s alien slowpop. It’s one of those records you really have to dedicate a little time and most importantly a little silence to, but fans of this type of minimal will find themselves swept away to that magical place where time no longer exists.
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