Book of Beyond

The Air in Pieces

[Last Visible Dog,]

When the Rhode Island Last Visible Dog imprint releases a new project, freak-heads world wide take notice. What's stopping you from perking your ears at attention?
Purveyor of good taste and Last Visible Dog head Chris Moon went back into the vaults to uncover an earlier project of his, Yermo. Moon makes full use of electronics, loops and samples, while his pal Dean Thompson utilizes delay/disintegrator. Recorded over a span of two years [1998 to 1999], the CD features two long tracks that overload the senses into a momentous far-out galaxy. Clocking in at 50 minutes, the title track makes up the bulk of the record. Shifting between the obscenely tense moments of industrial glory - with pummelling wall-of-guitar structures - and settling on a more minimal approach half way through, the piece turns out to be an aural tale. When it arrives at the minimal, it settles down. Like a moth on a flame, its loopy wings flickering in the midnight moon. Near the end of the piece, another "dangerous" industrial noise concoction is heard that disturbs for a few minutes, only to settle down once again. The chamber echo structure that is heard throughout the bulk of the piece is where the duo strike gold. Putting emphasis on this part of their musical paradigm is what gets them top marks. "Irrlicht Verfallen" [which originally appeared on "Moth to the Sun"] is another perfect example of the evolution of the loop as a musical creation tool. The trip starts with a grainy, grating force that concocts in a sound machine, only to soften as time flows by. By about the mid-way mark, the sounds turn to what resembles a building crumbling and this is repeated over and over until the whole motif starts to resemble a crashing wind or a soft avalanche on a mountain. The grating sound from the beginning of the piece returns again for a couple of minutes, only to be put to rest by some sort of field recording of a muffled acoustic guitar [?]. Sounds like these occur rarely, so when they're out there, you've got only one choice - listen.
Ben Reynolds also comes from the same "let's go all weird on people" school. To be fair to the guy, nothing in music is weird or strange anymore. While fads come and go, good ol'bizarro-world creations will have a close home in my gut. Inhabiting a haunting place, where echoes are common and spooky sounds come out of nowhere, Reynolds attacks the project from all sides. While favouring the ever-present drone, he caresses the guitar to produce awkward shapes that are morphed into self-contained creations. Moving away from the guitar for a second, Reynolds also plays the flute. Listen to the other-worldly sounds of a wind instrument on "Done Soggy (Constellation) for proof of some truly freaky passages. Then, just a few steps away, on "Mirth Script" he's a demon of the oscillating tandem. Glaring, high-pitched guitar passage that obliterates the ears and the mind is heard within an arm's reach. Thing that sucks me in the most in his music is the conflict to be both minimal and show the maximum of power in one breath. While a track such as "Remedy for the Sirs" shows a heavy use of the cymbals, the underlying force is the boiling climax underneath. Evolving slowly, after the cymbals have died down, a calming effect is realized that soothes, though in a disturbing enough way. For fans of dark and those who are madly in love with insanity of music that challenges, "Book of Beyond" satisfies the hunger.
Second release by drone-master Geoff Mullen digs up dust webs of the lost and the desolate. Mining areas of the guitar drone that a few have ventured into, he delivers the straight goods. No glossy stuff to make you like the music any more than you need to. No sunshine on the album cover to make you want to buy the record. No cheery attitude to make you like the guy more. What you get is reality. Drone in its pure, unadulterated fashion. This is grimy stuff that is usually hidden around dark corners of the city's sewers. This is the stuff that too many are afraid to admit they like when discussing music in a larger crowd. This is stuff that gives life meaning. It is dirty. It's direct and mostly, it resembles sludge. The only analogy I can think of is a soundtrack to mud. You watch mud slide off from your shoes as you're walking through an enormous meadow in the countryside. The individual movements on the record [all untitled] are created using a guitar, some reverb and perfectly matched levels of distortion. In this drone-filled world, full of vibrations that hint at movement, the loopy music is amassed by a sense of stillness. Everything seems to be indirect and gently hinted at. While the world spins, Mullen's music is stuck in a dream world, one step behind and two steps beyond, trying to catch up to the craziness all around him. Perfect for extended contemplation or cleaning the bathroom.

- Tom Sekowski

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+ TK WEBB - Phantom Parade
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+ ERIC LA CASA - Air.Ratio
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+ TRANSMISSION - Beyond Light
+ QUINTET AVANT - En Concert Ă  la Salle des FĂŞtes

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