Secret Pyramid
Distant Works I [CS; Proposition]

There’s a certain kind of excitement a nerd like me gets when opening up a release with a catalog number like the one on this cassette tape: prop01. It is The First release on the Proposition label, people. I have It. But all that cocky, conceited energy sure does get swallowed up and laid to rest when the spools start spinning and the elegiac, mellow mounds of tone start rolling out from Secret Pyramid’s tape loops. Distant Works I is “distant” in the sense that the drones themselves are away off on some sunset in another star system, solar winds whistling in between. But it is also temporally distant — these works were created back in 2010 and were only mixed/mastered during the last year. Synth, piano, and looping effects went into what is heard in the music, a mix of elements that transforms itself over time from basic rising drones into near-symphonic pieces full of drawn-out chords stretching, hanging out over cliffs before crashing down into the next of its harmonic progression. While the tape contains within it a certain deepness, the amount of textures used feels limited (discerning the differences between side A and B, for example, takes some pretty careful and close listening), and those textures fill up every single second of sound available on the C30. Nice use of dynamics, plenty of rise and fall action going on here, but Secret Pyramid would benefit from looking at negative spaces within his compositions as well. Regardless, Distant Works shows a lot of poise and control on the part of its composer, and if this is what was going on four years ago for him, I’d be very interested to hear where Amir Abby’s instruments are taking Secret Pyramid now.


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