♫♪  Deru - 1979

Immerse yourself:

Benjamin Wynn is a “high-profile ambient artist,” which is a title I just created. It means he’s a film composer, and releases his music in 5.1 surround sound instead of on cassette tape. As Deru, Wynn has collaborated on subterranean scores for documentaries and had his own music re-worked by producers like Baths and Virtual Flannel. His new project, , catches me somewhere between being hilariously maudlin and genuinely cool. 1979 is an album presented in the form of a $500 digital projector laser cut out of a single block of walnut that slightly resembles a cross between mid-century Braun and the Scottish Parliament building. Shipping will fo-sho be another $75, and you may want to buy this nice marble pillar to sit the Obverse Box on while you’re at it. Just saying.

Nine short films accompany the music, with contributions by Nigel Godrich and Amon Tobin. Judging from the short film below — in which a child finds a (maybe) illegally downloaded copy of the Obverse Box buried underground — Wynn and his collaborators have worked to create a piece whose identity will stand within the fascinating grey area of “sound art” and “music.” I joke about 1979’s absurd price and therefore its self-imposed sense of status, but for those of us who can’t afford such a sleek machine, the tactile and enveloping nature of Wynn’s project should be admired. Taken, as Wynn puts it, from the definition of nostalgia, a combination of the Greek words nóstos and álgos “homecoming” and “pain,” the album is both a audio/visual time-capsule and a physical piece of art. When the films are inevitably released on YouTube, I expect to see arresting images that pinch a little at the nerve one loses awareness of when they leave adolescence behind forever. Isn’t it interesting when a song you’ve never heard before takes you to a memory you promised yourself you would visit but forget how to get back to? And what do you do when you get there?

Listen to the title track:

• Deru: http://deru.la
• Friends of Friends: https://fofmusic.bandcamp.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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