(Sedimental)

The press sheet describes this work as “pure, hypnotic and straight to the psyche” and I can’t possibly touch this perfect definition. Entirely made with processed feedback controlled by a mixer (“No microphones, instruments or inputs of any kind”, says Courtis) and inspired by – you guess it – palaeolithic dolmens, this music works fabulously at very low volume from the speakers in a silent room, its four movements exploring the whole gamut of frequency brain-rubbing. Most of all I like the impressive subsonic activity of part I, which will be appreciated by those who love Hafler Trio’s most static output (think “How to slice a loaf of bread”), while the bird-like chirps of Courtis’ signals in the third segment were most welcomed by my wife, who is a truly severe judge for this kind of sound art. But the whole record’s consistency is absolute and even if no-input feedback has been repeatedly explored by the likes of David Lee Myers and Toshi Nakamura – to name just two – Alan Courtis can safely declare himself as one of the very best in the game; will I be forgiven if I tell you that this CD and “North and South Neutrino” (with Lasse Marhaug on Antifrost) are more relevant works than Reynols’ opera omnia?

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