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Blue Wheatfield by Brian Grainger
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7/10 Jim 08 July 2014

On this cassette, Brian Grainger sets lonesome guitar loops running into the distance, allowing the mesmerising effect of the repetition and accumulated layers of sound ephemera to gradually transform them into epic expanses of haunting overtones. Most of the tracks revolve around a strummed motif on a modulated guitar, onto which e-bowed guitar, or spooked, almost Loren Connersesque modal runs are grafted and subtly embellished so that the melodies and textures seem to be in a constant flux of emergence and dissipation. This whole approach, along with the slowly unfolding melancholy of the pieces reminds me of William Basinski, while the blues based, chiming guitar ‘n drones gives it an epic, cursed-Earth americana vibe - kind of like a more isolationist Barn Owl.

Although much of the effect of the music comes from the repetition and duration of the tracks, I can’t help getting the sense that self-editing is not one of Grainger’s strengths; the tracks can feel a tad ponderous if you’re not in the mood. Nevertheless, this is great album for just letting your mind drift further and further out towards an infinite horizon, carried on the mesmeric waves of the loops.


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