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CD Feature/ Paul Bradley: "Memorias Extranjeras"

img  Tobias

Bang! Just when you thought you had settled in, your senses are warped into a state of emergency, there is a sudden rush of blood to the head, your heart starts beating furiously and you can feel your pulse in your jugular. For all those, who thought they knew Paul Bradley and had come to expect yet another work of deep, brooding, meditative and transcendentally comforting drones, the time has come to think again.

Not, because there are none of those on this album. But instead of the undisrupted flow and smooth transitions of previous efforts, “Memorias Extranjeras” presents the listener with a colourful collection of snap shots, each one with a different mood and intensity. Of course, the old Bradley is still very much present in many of the seperate episodes, especially when he operates in the lower regions of the sonic spectrum and treats the listener to physically powerful, subcutaneous layers of bass vibrations, which set both mind and body in motion. There are plenty of those here, but on top of that, there are also sweeling and decongesting harmonics, almost indian flavoured passages reminscent of a long-drawn sitar tone, field recordings of people talking and of foreworks being ignited, as well as (a real premiere in Bradley’s oeuvre!) rhythms. The latter light up the aural scenery at the very beginning, covering the fanned-out opening drone, only to disappear again in an instant of a second. Like a ghostly galley ship on an endless ocean, the 40-minute long composition sails through banks of mist, allowing only a faint glimps of what is to come and merely a distant memory of the past. The cooling spray touches your face and the wind caresses your hair like an invisible hand, as you gaze at what’s in front of you. And all around you, on a grey, but everlasting horizon, a wordless world slowly unfolds.

And then, just when you thought you had settled in, brutal noises set in and a frenzy of distorted voices and explosions shakes you up and brings your body back to the real world. There are more of these surprising moments on “Memorias Extranjeras” and they keep the mind in a transient state between waking alertly and sleeping peacefully. After a string of almost perfect drone releases, this is a step into a new direction for Paul Bradley. A most welcome one, as we might add.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Paul Bradley / Twenty Hertz
Homepage: Alluvial Recordings

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