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CD Feature/ Loren Dent: "Empires and Milk"

img  Tobias

Most drone music-related releases are about attaining an even flow – once they’ve settled in their space, they make an art of not budging and holding their breath. Loren Dent, too, enjoys the magic of gauging the depths of a single mood, of tingling its spine until, by microscopic movement or none at all, the piece starts to change in the listener’s mind. What he enjoys just as much, though, is breaking this flow apart and creating seams and cracks in its surface, tiny hooks for the brain’s slipstream to get entangled. Miraculously, this approach has made“empires and milk” all the more fluent.

Which is ever-important with an album stretching over 77 minutes and 15 tracks, a length considered something of a medal of honour in the age of CDs, but one which has proved anything but benefitial to the drone scene with too many albums fraying out when they should be closing in. Dent, however, not only manages to keep the attention for the entire span, but to make every second seem essential to the overall message (whatever you consider it to be). It is almost as if he wants to let everyone know about his synaestheticism, so much is this record devided into small “islands” of tracks which relate to each other, which again fit into the greater picture like miniature puzzles inside a huge one. These different groups structure the album and create invisible slipstreams, speeding up the listener’s perception of time in unexpected places, while the music slows all senses down until the heart reaches resting pulse rate and all synapses are suddenly open. It will be interesting to check out the reviews on “empires and milk”, for it is a work, which in a way does not want to be classified and analysed – feeling is definitely more important than questioning here and even calling it an anti-intellectual album would be besides the point, as this already implies too much of an aim and purpose. The guitar strings strum and purr to waves of choral sighs and tiny backwards noises, crackling and hissing, a piano made of clouds repeats a simple chord scheme in a neverending loop, long-drawn tones float through light-flooded seas of viscous liquid and textures heave and breathe in crystaline REM daydreams with eyes wide open, while the album approaches a climax that will never come.

“empires and milk” is about longing, about wanting to go to places you can not reach and getting things not meant for you. The fact that none of these tracks ever leave their course is not complacency, but a law of nature in a system which awards more importance to magination and memory than to physics and the present. If some call that escapism, then so be it. For the more you listen to it, the more you realise that this desire, this nostalgia, this perpetual, beautiful heartbreak is just as real as everything you see around you. Settling in its embrace, without budging and holding your breath wishing the moment would never end is part of human nature. There is nothing sad about that.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Loren Dent
Homepage: Loren Dent at MySpace
Homepage: Contract Killers Records

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