Monday, September 28, 2015

Keith Rowe / John Tilbury - Enough Still Not To Know [Sofa Music Promo]

Soon to be released via the Norwegian label Sofa Music is the massive "Enough Still Not To Know" 4CD box set containing improvised music created by experimental musicians Keith Rowe and John Tilbury under the conceptual guidance of the visual artist Kjell Bjørgeengen. Rowe and Tilbury who've collaborated for an incredible timespan of nearly 50 years now create a sparse, extremely reduced audio environment perfectly fitting for headphone consumption on this 3+ hour long journey, a musical sphere of seemingly random sounds that might well be pure Field Recordings, long periods of near silence and tender, accentuated piano intermittences, emitting short glimpses of beauty and harmony into an endless space which, the further the "First Part" (CD1) progresses, evolve into longer sequences that don't become melodies yet but are more like pupae, fragile constructions of art that might unveil more beauty in a future to come whilst Keith Rowe's experimental soundscapes partly become darker and more intense before vanishing into near silence again. The "Second Part" (CD2) continues in a similar vein and starts off with scrooping sounds and a light, continuous background noise accompanied by tense and intense piano sequences of film noir'esque qualities - a perfect contrast to all the crackles and harsh tearing sounds laid out as experimental foundation of this second hour. But, after the first half of "Second Part" has passed, we see the overall feel temporarily become more violent and threatening, the tearing, scratching and drilling takes on a more aggressive note whilst the piano keyboard is hammered with destined force, sometimes even touching the borders of brutality. Going into the "Third Part" the piano seems reminiscent of instruments like glockenspiel or gong whilst a deep background bass drone adds a spatial dimension of a certain kind, later replaced by minute long periods of silence from which super fragile strings slowly emerge and die away again, before gong like sequences close the circle towards the end of this third hour. Finally we see more melodic structures with a jazzy twist in conjunction with wildly rattling, seemingly modular sequences in the "Fourth Part" which stretches out over 30 minutes only, also coming back to the tearing and ripping of the "Second Part" and the contrast of tender and forceful piano (ab)use. A long journey for dark winter nights.


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