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Serious minimalists heavyweights collaborating right here. William Basinski should need no introduction, and Richard Chartier has been ploughing a rich furrow of electronic microsound for years. Their third collaboration together is Divertissment, which is of course a richly detailed sonic environment, subtle but powerful.

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  • IMPREC417 / LP on Important Records
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Divertissment by William Basinski & Richard Chartier 1 review. Add your own review. 8/10
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8/10 Staff review, 30 September 2015

Not sure if two members counts, but this is somewhat of a minimal experimental electronic supergroup. Master of decay William Basinski teams up with Line co-founder Richard Chartier for some introspective, nervous channeling of drifting sound on Important Records.

Seeing as three of the instruments they’ve cited are just forms of media (electronics, tape loops and short wave radio) the actual sonic content is obscure and indeterminate. It’s sort of made of noises, arcing wisps of crushed, fragile sound under which is buried a hint of droning melody. I guess the radio is tuned to 0Hz, the tape loops are empty and a solitary resistor is mic’d up. There’s a piano in there somewhere, but as I said, it’s a super minimal cloud of sound. Some clicks traverse the stereo field, like digital insects guiding the composition to its monastic end. And that’s just side A. Or B. There is absolutely no way of telling which is which.

The other side is much more windy, with the wisps amplified, enunciating low ‘O’ vowels before the radio picks up some machiney feedback - this side is where the fruits are, and saves the record from being too similar to the current minimal electronic canon.



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