William Basinski
The Disintegration Loops I


5.0
classic

Review

by montague USER (15 Reviews)
August 6th, 2006 | 62 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


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.



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user ratings (113)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
For Meatplow (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
August 6th 2006


2806 Comments


This review is pretty meh. You need more detail.

711
August 6th 2006


1341 Comments


I agree, it wasnt super-detailed, but not bad.

Ive never heard of this, what kinds of music is it?

Wildhoodlum
August 6th 2006


45 Comments


I very rarely say this about reviews, but this one was absolutely terrible. The introduction, for one thing, is one of the most arrogantly pretentious things I've read on this site. The review itself, is equally horrendous, because it's completely inane. It has no substance whatsoever- I know nothing about this album now. On top of all of that, the grammar is severely lacking: not capitalizing "I" in reference to yourself, or any other proper nouns for that matter, is pretty much inexcusable. I would expect something of this caliber from someone new to the site, but with 10 reviews already under your belt prior to this one, this just seems overly-hostile and lazy. Better luck next time; try harder, please.

francesfarmer
August 6th 2006


1477 Comments


To describe this piece in mere words is to not do it true justice.


If you think your incapable of describing the music, please don't try.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
August 6th 2006


2806 Comments


[quote=Hep Kat- Clark Kent style]is one of the most arrogantly pretentious things I've read on this site[/quote]

See my Birds of Fire review.

slack
August 6th 2006


249 Comments


this just seems overly-hostile
oh hey irony

try not to be such a douche. yes the review needs more content about the music, but you don't have to lay into him.

Cygnus Inter Anates
August 9th 2006


721 Comments


The first paragraph is funny.

Zebra
Moderator
May 4th 2008


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is an essential piece of ambient music. i actually like it better then any of eno's ambient albums.

joshuatree
Emeritus
November 11th 2008


3742 Comments


ive listened to the whole thing and it was most triumphiant five hours ive ever experienced
album is cash to fall asleep to

Angmar
November 11th 2008


2689 Comments


Album is great, I like the 2nd Disintegration of Loops more though, D|P 3 is one of the most beautiful things ever.

Anodyne
November 11th 2008


85 Comments


yeah II is better

repeatdefender
October 9th 2009


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is the cure to insomnia.
It's really hard to decide which one of the disintegration loops is better.


Bitchfork
June 12th 2010


7584 Comments


Musical Perfection

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


15743 Comments


okay

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


15053 Comments


who listens to this shit cmon

merriweather/indiechick109230293 or whatever's opinion on this is surprisingly accurate

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


15743 Comments


123

Enotron
August 27th 2010


7695 Comments


it's pretty nice in the background, but b4k is retarded

i only heard the second one and i was feeling nice and rewarded it a 4

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


15053 Comments


d|p 6 is the best one imo

edit: i dont usually admit to this stuff but i might like this more if it wasnt for bitchfork

like without someone deluding themselves so hard and singing its praises i might just be able to
dismiss it as a sort of botched experiment but he makes me actively dislike it

Ire
August 27th 2010


41805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

edit: i dont usually admit to this stuff but i might like this more if it wasnt for bitchfork


Yeah, this.

Enotron
August 27th 2010


7695 Comments


word(i don't think i've ever agreed with robertsona so much in such a small period of time)



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