‘Having Never Written A Note For Percussion’ is US techno underground loop hypnotist Rrose’s cover of one of American composer James Tenney’s most famous works. The piece was written as an experiment in the exploration of tone, volume and decay requiring constant playing of one percussive instrument, gradually building it up and down in volume, a concept which is well complimented by Rrose's ambient style.
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- Having Never Written a Note for Percussion by Rrose plays James Tenney
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Shit. I’d better knock this review out quickly because I’m in severe danger of nodding off. Rrose got me feeling like I’ve eaten fifty Valium such is the pure tranquility of this record. If it’s not obvious then this isn’t the (superb) techno Rrose has been previously dishing out on Sandwell District and her Eaux label but a step further into transportive minimalist music suggested on the more “experimental” moments on those records.
The piece Rrose tackles is by American composer James Tenney and involves taking a percussive instrument from its quietest to loudest point and back again. In the hands of Rrose this involves gracefully beating a massive gong until its reverberations shimmer into drones that have me feeling like I’m inside a chrome cocoon gently bobbing up and down in a calm lake. There’s some nice variation between the Studio Version on the A-side, and the Live Version underneath -- where it sounds like a member of the audience is brushing past to go to the loo. Perhaps they got so chilled out they lost control of their bodily functions and had to make an abrupt embarrassing exit? Both versions are equally as absorbing as they slowly unfold with meditative calm and precision.
This is what I’d call quality 21st Century minimalism -- proper oldskool drone, not like all the floaty ambient gear that seems to have inherited that particular genre tag. Recommended (but not while you're driving - unless you have a death wish).
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