IN CAMERA – Open Air


Christoph Heemann and Timo Van Luijk take a few sources – which remain, as always, nearly unidentifiable – and stretch them to the limit of significance, giving birth to yet another unmissable link in a chain of albums that every serious drone cultivator should treasure. The two partners also share a fondness for LPs, but the irregular clusters and subsonic jumbles characterizing this kind of offering can sometimes generate vinyl-related distortion and impurities that in my opinion overcome the beauty of a cover picture or the excitement of a limited edition artwork (I’m still praying for those Mirror CD reissues, incidentally). The static pregnancy of “Open air” is tangible throughout and, although we’re familiar with the half-caressing, half-inauspicious resonances and mythical slow crescendos of Heemann’s music, the partnership with Van Luijk brings a different kind of fruit, as the animate quality of these barely moving processions reveals an underworld of event-related modifications, thoroughly explicated by heartstopping desolate glissandos halfway through the second side of the album. The music revolves around its own centre of gravity, invading the listening space discreetly at first, then placing its mark all over the place to finally saturate the ambience with piercing waves that change according to volume and head positioning. Completists beware: the first edition contains a second disc featuring two solo compositions by the principals, one side each. Heemann’s “The tambourine people” is a splendid, ever-growing mantra in which one seems to perceive voices, strings and heaven knows what else, a sonic pathway to some sort of obscure galaxy. Van Luijk’s “10 past 9″ is another trip to the Land of Stasis, but visits more acute regions, organ and flute (?) superimpositions somehow recalling a 21st century version of Popol Vuh. Both tracks totally justify the different price tag of this issue.


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