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CD Feature/ Fear Falls Burning: "Woes of the Desolate Mourner"

img  Tobias

The hardest part is getting this started. Pressed on transparent vinyl, running on 33 instead of the traditional 45 rpm and trying to make the best possible use of the space available on the disc, this 7’’ vinyl offering needs a trained hand and an eagle’s eye for the needle to land exactly in the opening groove instead of the turntable. After that, it’s eyes closed, as you dive headlong into what possibly constitutes the most emotional moment of Dirk Serries’ extensive tour of last year.

Surprises are not uncommon in his discography and this limited edition release nestles nicely in between single and double CDs, sampler contributions, 10’’ and full length vinyl, as well as an upcoming 5LP set. And yet, some have expressed doubts as to the viability of the Fear Falls Burning concept in the smaller format, regarding it as too restricted for his overflowing and freewheeling excursions into drones, distortion and delightful daydreams. Which goes slightly against the evidence - in my opinion, both his contribution to the 4-way split with Aidan Baker, Z’EV and John Duncan as well as this, his latest release with his congenial partner Tonefloat Records from Rotterdam, have been among the more adventurous and leftfield in his oeuvre. Which is not to say that “Woes” is a blind experiment or a sudden deviation from proven paths. Rather, this extract from his Nijmegen show sees Dirk in a romantic reverie, in which surrealism, future memories and gentle mood swings all occupy the same room. The tone is set in the very first seconds, when long-drawn swoons paint streaks of light on the nightsky and darkness falls over the towers of the Tyrell Corporation. Individual lines drop into a polyphonic murmer, dancing a ballet of hints and suggestions. Caught in a frozen scene of yearning, Serries is no longer just letting his guitar speak, he is already at the stage of metaphors and threedimensional images. Slowly, the music enters a hopeful hum, brimming with energy, yet simultaneously calm and warm. Deep sighs echo whales floating through space, as the composition drifts towards the abstract and the point, where words fail. On his blog, Dirk mentions that he was surprised by the atmospheric power of this piece himself, when hearing it back some time after the concert – which only goes to show the state of concentration and total immersion he must have experienced during the performance.

Of course, there is a short break when you turn over the disc, but this merely opens up the chance to either enjoy this as a continuum or as two seperate tracks with their own, clearly defined identities. The only thing you’ll have to take heed of is to get the needle into groove again. But apart from that, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Fear Falls Burning
Homepage: Fear Falls Burning at MySpace
Homepage: Tonefloat Records


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