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LP Feature/ Bass Communion & Fear Falls Burning: "s/t"

img  Tobias

As a paradoxical and yet completely logical consequence, the revolution in digital music distribution has left a renewed and seemingly insatiable desire for tangibility in its wake. The more sounds can be stored away on Dard Disks as binary strings of ephemeral data, the stronger the desire to surround oneself with palpable beauty and a hint at immortality. Vinyl is being rediscovered as a medium to carry both music and memory: Of a time, a place, a person – or, as in this case, of an unforgettable and inimitable concert.

To visitors of the “Fear Falls Burning Deluxe” evening at Antwerp’s Luchtbal concert space, this 7inch will represent an acoustic souvenir of a double performance carrying the seed of a classic for (still to be written) drone history textbooks. It was all there: Steven Wilson’s alchemical Neo-Krautrock minimalism, driven by an unquenchable thirst for darkly playful experimentation and forged by a bold ignorance of expectations and traditional time measures. Dirk Serries’ raw and halucinatory Guitar exorcisms, spanning astral domes of blistering sonic granite, pushing patiently forward like an icebreaker on a lunar sea. And finally, the brawny power of his “Frenzy of the Absolute” ensemble, reigned in only by the indestructable shoreline of the album’s compositions.

Clearly discernible traces of the performance have carried over to the grooves. The Bass Communion contribution “Fusiliser”, especially, is an immediate reference not only to the “Molotov and Haze” sessions it was culled from, but the opening section of the gig as well, when a whispering jungle of seductively floating Guitar lines was gradually drowned out by an approaching stormcloud of claustrophobically packed harmonics. On the night, Wilson allowed this electrically charged sheet to pass by and empty itself on his audience, founding the final half of his performance on the sharpened attention of a force of nature’s aftermath. “Fusiliser”, in contrast, is resolutely cut off at its loudest and most intense moment, echoing out in the listener’s ears while the needle returns to its starting position.

Fear Falls Burning’s “Pulse on Fire” on the flipside could rather be regarded as a sort of muted inverse image of his stage action. Musical development seems to take place underneath a heaving and sinking blanket, a pyschedelic sourdine muffling sound into a distant drone. All essential elements are present rigth from the very start, forwards and backwards sounds gently flowing into each other, creating a rocking sensation of dream-like undulation and consoling stasis. Soft washes of melodic bliss hit your ears like warm, salty spray, as the waves sensually push each other up, towards an acme which lies outside of the track’s audible boundaries. If you close your eyes and extend your hands, it seems almost as though these fluid forms were within reach, but they always slip right through your fingers as this tender lullaby for the lost at sea disappears in a delirious delta in an invisible distance.

Memories are immaterial, of course, and as such, even a luxurious spotvarnished cover, silken in the touch and filled with an endearing white slab of Vinyl can not replace the real thing. And yet, in its miniature representation of the artists involved and their contributions to the unique Luchtbal concert, this EP manages to create the illusion of capturing the fleeting nature of reality safely within its palpable, physical dimensions. If your insatiable regret for having missed this live opportunity still buzzes in your belly, then holding on to one of these beautiful hints at immortality is the best cure imaginable.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Bass Communion
Homepage: Fear Falls Burning
Homepage: Tonefloat Records

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