William Basinski
The Disintegration Loops I


5.0
classic

Review

by For Meatplow USER (61 Reviews)
September 6th, 2010 | 240 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


As William Basinski began his attempts to convert old reel-to-reel tape recordings into a digital format, and as he reconstructed his opus, The Disintegration Loops I, the then forty-something musician unconsciously began to document the death of music nearly half his age. Later, he even put it bluntly: "the music was dying." But even though he professes his uncontrollable love for these specific compositions in the liner notes of this album, he decided to sit down and allow his simple, elegiac melodies fade into nothingness. Much of the time you can hear the ferrite on the magnetic tape peeling off while Basinski's simple piano compositions echo and decrescendo into oblivion. Other times, they're interrupted by silence and the whir of machinery and the decaying tapes, and indeed the way that Loops was made only enhances its value; however, what truly makes Loops stand out as a heart-stopping, awe-inspiring stroke of genius is how evocative Basinski's fluid orchestration is.

Though alarmingly simple in terms of technicality, Basinski's outrageous ability to stir the soul is anything but. The irony of his simplicity and repetition sounding so relaxing and being able to place listeners into such a state of self-reflection it's ridiculous. The hour long "D|P 1.1" is a culmination of what he and his production ethic are able to produce: songs so poignant and pensive that it's incredible to think that these were, at one point, just a singular melody repeated for an absurd amount of time. Why? Because it is continually able to act as an emotional stimulus. As it fades into pure nothingness, the entire composition changes - slowly but surely. At first, the melody is relaxing with the ability to take you to that "special place" where all is peaceful and quiet. Later, it becomes somber as it documents the tape's death. The machinery that caused its demise becomes a more prominent feature of the composition, and slowly, all is lost.

Empty.

Nothing.

The grandeur of this moment and all of the moments on Basinski's Loops is simply stunning. Simple, yes - but magnificent all the same due to Basinski's ability to transform the unbelievably minimal into the incredulously impacting. Though Basinski plods away on his instrument on Loops, it seems mythical and unreal how moving and intriguing and emotionally-gratifying the composition is seeing as, it is indeed, a simple melody hammered on a piano. However, the hypnotic qualities of the album are so profound that only masses of hyperbolic and superfluous writing could come close to describing how majestic it is.

And probably not even that can do the trick.



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user ratings (113)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Bitchfork
September 7th 2010


7584 Comments


I did it.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2010


15044 Comments


negged

Gyromania
September 7th 2010


15791 Comments


good review. pos'd

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Bitchfork
September 7th 2010


7584 Comments


Mind explaining why robert?

bailar12
September 7th 2010


1766 Comments


it was only a matter of time

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 7th 2010


3768 Comments


Is not James Blake 0/5.

AlexTM510
September 7th 2010


1401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

those negs make absolutely no sense.

great review, did a good job describing this. the 9/11 factor to this whole makes the listening absolutely chilling

Ire
September 7th 2010


41790 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i want to pos this but i also want to neg this so i won't vote.

Bulldog
September 7th 2010


3796 Comments


of course

Bitchfork
September 7th 2010


7584 Comments


was this a surprise?

Gyromania
September 7th 2010


15791 Comments


if the review is well written then click 'yes'. shit's simple, people

Bitchfork
September 7th 2010


7584 Comments


well we have robertsona here so

Gyromania
September 7th 2010


15791 Comments


yeah, and ire

Bitchfork
September 7th 2010


7584 Comments


yeah ire's a fgt

Ire
September 7th 2010


41790 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's well written for a 9 yr old but i kinda hate you.

Bitchfork
September 7th 2010


7584 Comments


but when we frot

Ire
September 7th 2010


41790 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ok pos

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2010


15044 Comments


not well written would neg 3000 times

Gyromania
September 7th 2010


15791 Comments


not well written would neg 3000 times

your presence on this site bothers me

Bitchfork
September 7th 2010


7584 Comments


again... mind explaining why alex



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