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Here's a peculiar CD on which guitarist Bill Horist of America teams up with sound artist Jakob Riis of Denmark on laptop and real time processing on a two-act suite of instrumentals which they confidently declare "a new wordless opera". Rather good it is too, I'm quite surprised they've only made 100 of these.
Opening with the Americana-ish twanging of 'Wind, Tar to Baliene Flame' with only minimal electronic interference does little to prepare the listener for track two, 'The Hidden Terms of Cessation's Elegy' on which Riis takes the fore with a grinding, groaning mass of shuddering dark ambient drones to which Horist adds cosmic feedback howls and lumpen ringing distorto-chords, then 'Fibrillate' throws us into a fluttering electronic bleepscape with panicked scratchy guitar before the next track throws us straight back to the opener's barely-accompanied guitar soli gracefulness.
And so it goes over the course of the CD, Horist's beautiful traditional acoustic shapes and more challenging electric experimentalism battling for dominance against Riis's sonic virus of scorched-earth dark ambience and robotised dread. It's a challenging and varied listen which certainly does hint at a soundtrack-esque narrative, it's bringing all sorts of crazy images into my mind. Don't listen to it last thing before you go to bed or you'll almost certainly have nightmares.
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- The Cessation Elegy by Bill Horist / Jakob Riis
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