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William Basinski

Lamentations

    William Basinski’s reputation as the foremost producer of profound meditations on death and decay has long been established, but on his new album, Lamentations, he transforms operatic tragedy into abyssal beauty. More than any other work since The Disintegration Loops, there is an ominous grief throughout the album, and that sense of loss lingers like an emotional vapor.

    Captured and constructed from tape loops and studies from Basinski’s archives – dating back to 1979 – Lamentations is over forty years of mournful sighs meticulously crafted into songs. They are shaped by the inevitable passage of time and the indisputable collapsing of space – and their collective resonance is infinite and eternal.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: As one of the most legendary tape-loop sound designers out there, Basinski has a long and prolific career, excelling at exaclty this sort of hazy sorrowful electronic ambient. It's a beguiling outing, and possibly his greatest since the rightfully lauded Disintegration Loops.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. For Whom The Bell Tolls (4:10)
    2. The Wheel Of Fortune (3:20)
    3. Paradise Lost (1:23)
    4. Tear Vial (4:46)
    5. O, My Daughter, O, My Sorrow (6:43)
    6. Passio (6:21)
    7. Punch And Judy (3:07)
    8. Silent Spring (6:20)
    9. Transfiguration (3:37)
    10. All These Too, I, I Love (11:07)
    11. Please, This Shit Has Got To Stop (5:05)
    12. Fin (1:37)

    A vibrant electronic fusion of lounge, jazz, and disco is maybe not the first (or fifth) thing you would expect to hear from one of the world's most renowned modern composers and ambient tape loop pioneers, but upon first listen, it makes so much sense that one wonders why it didn't happen sooner.

    After years of producing and mentoring slews of young artists in 1990s Williamsburg, Brooklyn, William Basinski moved to Los Angeles. There he hired a young studio assistant, Preston Wendel, who eventually introduced his own works to the curious composer. That spawned a creative partnership that inspired Wendel to persuade Basinski to haul out his saxophone. Five years later, SPARKLE DIVISION has arrived with their enchanting debut album, To Feel Embraced.

    Produced by SPARKLE DIVISION at Basinskiís Musex International in Los Angeles, the duo were joined by a few notable friends: Mrs. Leonora Russo (who Basinski affectionately calls "the true Sicilian Sparkle Division, my Brooklyn Mom, the Queen of Williamsburg") offers her sparkling voice to ìQueenie Got Her Bluesî; fabled free-jazz icon and genuine bodhisattva, the late Henry Grimes, contributed upright bass and violin to the aptly-named "Oh Henry!" ("Lotta babies gonna be born from this one," Henry and Margaret Davis Grimes playfully declared); and London vocalist Xeli Grana offers her ethereal voice to the albumís meditative title track.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. You Go Girl!
    2. You Ain't Takin' My Man
    3. For Gato
    4. Oh Henry!
    5. To The Stars Major Tom
    6. Oh No You Did Not!
    7. To Feel
    8. To Feel Embraced
    9. Slappin’ Yo Face
    10. Mmmmkayy I'm Goin' Out Now And I Don't Want Any Trouble From You!
    11. Queenie Got Her Blues
    12. Sparkle On Sad Sister Mother Queen
    13. No Exit

    Prints

    Just Thoughts

      The players: Zac Nelson, Kenseth Thibideau, Tim Goldsworthy. Quickly following their debut full-length, Prints return to stir the pot with a little more pop, their usual dose of psychedlia and an intoxicating amount of dance. It only takes about ten seconds to know how this 20-minute ride goes, but the charming anything-goes aesthetic that is quickly becoming a Prints trademark is firmly intact. Once again produced at home by multi-instrumentalists Zac Nelson and Kenseth Thibideau, the songs here were originally conceived as B-sides for a proposed single for "Too Much Water" from the group's eponymous debut. By the time three new songs were completed, they stood too strong on their own to be pushed out as B-sides, so the decision was made to forfeit the single and instead offer the songs as a stand-alone EP. Meanwhile, DFA co-founder and Hercules And Love Affair producer Tim Goldsworthy fired up his new alter-ego Thee Loving Hand for an epic super-funk remix of a pair of Prints tracks, "Pretty Tick" and "Meditation" (featuring, among other things, the funk bass skills of !!!'s Tyler Pope). To top it off, acclaimed visual artist Toben Seymour directed an eye-popping video for "Too Much Water", which is included here on the Enhanced CD portion of the disc.


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