Christopher Bissonnette In Between Words

[Kranky; 2008]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: ambient, new age, minimalism, drone
Others: Tim Hecker, Vangelis, William Basinski, M83

Sustain.

   Murk.

         Steam.

               Ether.

                    The earth’s rotation.

                     Shapelessness.

            Drifting.

      Lucid dreaming.

Hypnogogia.

      Blanket.

             Incidental.

                    Temporal.

Awash in sound overflow and muted awe, In Between Words is a record that makes me want to abandon language entirely. I feel feeble looking at the text I’m typing as I listen. It’s an album worthy of subtle, incisive critique, and the best I can come up with is something akin to magnetic poetry? Maybe I’ll just say my peace and get the hell outta here.

This record contains some of the most mammoth fades I’ve heard since The Disintegration Loops. The tracks seem like nothing less than epochal motherboards humming gracefully and infinitely to life. There’s a pervasive mist to them, as though the elongated tone clusters need constant hydration. It’s a soaking record, to be sure, but the listener is insulated from it somehow. Perhaps the low frequency hum serves as the barrier between your ears and the full deluge.

While there’s nothing revolutionary in it, you get the sense that Christopher Bissonnette put a lot of care into these steadily unfurling movements. Every seemingly random ambient city noise sounds right where it should be. There’s never a moment in which you feel like you’re being sucked in by Pavlovian massage parlor atmospherics. Leave it to Kranky to put out ambient that is simplistic yet still manages to dazzle as it soothes. This is seemingly effortless music deepened by discipline, every track as busy as it is staid. It’s not earth-shattering, but earth-imbibing, which is exactly what this sort of thing oughta be.

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