This collaboration comes from sound abstracters Marcia Bassett and Ssamara Lubelski, who previously collaborated for a release on Kye, the record label headed by musique concrete master Graham Lambkin. '110 Livingston' sees them making beautified arrangements out of treated guitar and droned-out violin compositions.
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- 110 Livingston by Marcia Bassett & Samara Lubelski
8/10 Robin Staff review, 13 January 2015
Marcia Bassett’s work has chilled it on the noise extremities and become exponentially more minimal as time has marched on, and her most recent work -- another collaboration with violinist and sporadic instrumentalist Samara Lubelski -- offers something of an avant-garde misnomer. ‘110 Livingston’ has a meandering, unidirectional approach to drone: the record doesn’t go anywhere in particular, and its compositions don’t feel interconnected -- their volume and tonality both change dramatically on the switch-overs. Instead, ‘110 Livingston’ is a record that feels suffocating for its timeless and unmotivated instrumental scrapings: the way Lubelski’s violin screams like it’s been strangled on “The Stairs at the Clocktower”, or the way Bassett processes her electronics on “Ghosts In the Machine” to both pulsate and sustain. ‘110 Livingston’ has no real explanation for its actions, which makes it a terrifying and ensnaring work.
Longform opener “Ghosts In The Machine” screeches with the twisted application of violin and electronics, recalling, in terms of sound, the mutilated, deathened ambient records put out by the Urashima label. Bassett’s work, however, shocks without the shock factor context, and succeeds in enforcing a desolate, inhumane landscape without unnecessary vocal samples. Instead, she creates terror by deferring to the space available to her -- occasionally, she works with Lubelski in an active state, hurrying their performances into suffocating passages; in other moments, the record feels like an empty tunnel. ‘110 Livingston’ is another triumphant piece of disquiet from Bassett and Lubelski, one that suggests you can making something harsher on the ears in hushed tones.
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