Release Date: Nov 13, 2020
Record label: Temporary Residence
Genre(s): Electronic, Avant-Garde, Experimental Ambient, Conceptual Art, Microsound, Post-Minimalism, Tape Music
A night at a haunted opera house... William Basinski can teach us a class of how to find sonic beauty in decaying elements and thrills in endless repetition. The ambient music master uses tape loops and sound manipulation to extract specific, mesmerizing sounds you could listen to forever. Of course, being an introspective, often abstract process, the results can be more hypnotizing for the author rather than the public.
With a patience and effortlessness all his own, ambient composer William Basinski's work communicates visceral emotions with minimal means. His best-known recording, 2002's The Disintegration Loops, utilized slowly decaying analog tape loops as a poignant reflection on the inevitable passing of time, and offered wordless commentary on the grief and confusion surrounding the World Trade Center attacks of 9/11. Though The Disintegration Loops has become the strongest example of Basinski's output, he's expanded on themes of nature, decay, and loss on many subsequent albums while experimenting with new techniques involving source material and sonic architecture.
William Basinski took the long road to relative fame, through Texan art school and New York arts spaces, failing to bother the limelight while he accumulated ideas and tapes of muzak, nabbed from the airwaves, stretched and slowed. What it left him with was a well-packed vault. Unearthing a heap of these tapes in the back of his New York loft in 2001, Basinski discovered the wasting effect endless looping had on them and realised its potential.