An intimate album of warm melodic droning. Benoit Pioulard started the process of making this album by recording unexpectedly musical tones from animal or mechanical sources (eg. extractor fans), and then transposing those sounds to his guitar. Released on almost-identically-priced vinyl and CD by the ever-loved Kranky label.
Vinyl LP £20.99 KRANK193LP
LP on Kranky.
CD £13.99 KRANK193
CD on Kranky.
The American not actually called Benoit Pioulard can’t escape the drone. Getting lost in a strong mood seems to be his ultimate liquor, with some extreme potency present in our much-plugged most recent podcast. The fading tones of John Cage segue perfectly into the rasping but ponderous Sonnet, his latest release on Kranky.
This record finds Pioulard engrossed in process, which is fine if it gets results like this. Inspiration apparently sourced from dream harmonies, whirring fans, and locusts is then mimicked by guitar looping to form long textural explorations that span multiple tracks each. The bed of warm undulating melody is augmented by a kind of constant crumbling of static and guitar distortion like a tasty pre-Ruins Grouper track.
Unlike Liz Harris, Thomas Meluch hardly feeling the vocals this time round. He says that he deemed them inessential in most places, but the moments that they are left in are certainly more beautiful as a result, the first being during track 8 which quickly coalesces into a reduction of dream pop from a formless mist. I can’t be bothered to refer to the tracks by their names as they’re basically a whole book each. Speaking of formlessness, noisy tape trundling and forest babble give a sense of alienation amongst the familiar sombre melody that we can’t get enough of.
The loops that mimic natural sounds are pretty wonderful, track 11’s cycle sounding even more full of life after his interpretation of whatever the original idea was. And it’s this warm life that gets this an 8. Nice one Tom
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- Sonnet by Benoît Pioulard
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