Right now, tell me: whats the most epic album you can think of?
Not to hold any grudges against the demographic of this site, but many of you will have answered Tool's 'Lateralus', Opeth's 'Blackwater Park' or even Green Day's 'American Idiot'. Many more of you, the smug indie bastards mainly, will scoff at these claims and declare with an air of greater-than-thou that Godspeed You! Black Emperor's 'Lift Yr Skinny Fists' is the most epic album ever. and there, i agree with you.
Or i did. until i encountered William Basinski's epic four-album series, 'The Disintegration Loops'. A Trained clarinetist, saxophonist, and classical composer, Basinski seems a likely candidate for Brian-Eno style minimalism, or a healthy dose of 'Skinny Fists' inspired grandiosity. What basinski did, however, is render both of these artists and albums, and many others, in their own right completely redundant.
The Disintegration Loops was born when Basinski discovered a collection of old tape loops he had recorded in the late 80s in his home. Liking what he found, Basinski decided to digitize the loops before the tapes they were on disintegrated too badly. However, he found the tapes already damaged. In fact, the very process of recording them was causing them to fall apart further. And so, on the spot, began what has come to be known as the 'Ring Cycle' of experimental music.
Basinski immediately ran the tapes further and recorded the results: 4 albums, 5+ hours of music, documenting the death of a piece of music. d|p1 is not for the impatient. The loop itself fades from necessity, simply becoming the means by which the passage of time is played. A grandiose, plodding, unrelenting format that creates a tense air of menace.
As pieces of tape come away spikes of noise and rustling click through and eventually dissolve into the unrelenting, chaotic window of sound. The only textural comparison to be found anywhere in this piece is the speed at which new sounds dissapear.
To describe this piece in mere words is to not do it true justice. Like a masterpiecee of art, one must encounter it personally and dwell on their own thoughts. Damn, this is a difficult album to review. But for anybody who likes something out of left-field, this is a must-have piece.
5 stars, a modern classic.