Philip Samartzis Strange Love (w/ Oren Ambarchi and Günter Müller)

[For4Ears; 2003]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: post-minimalism, electro-acoustic improvisation, drone
Others: Phill Niblock, Martin Ng, Kevin Drumm, Fennesz

The pounding resonates in your head as you move inevitably to your impending death. Your eyes fill with unseeing fear and fury until the tunnel vision leaves you with a speck of perception, and all you perceive is your end. Your partial blindness intensifies the dully engrossing sound that fills your ears from within. Time has slowed down. The sound stretches to infinity as the process of your descent sets in. You no longer hear it as clearly; it distorts and shifts, fleeing from you, as does the rest of the life in your body. It deadens. Slowly but surely it's gone. Except for the occasional pop or ring, that horrible sound has left you floating in a calm.

Wow, your life really does flash before your eyes, and it's not a silent show like the movies lead you to believe. Here's that rainy afternoon when you had to stay inside with your sister. The storm got so bad the TV and radio didn't even come in, and you were forced to play Boggle with her. There it goes. Here's driving to work. You're dying, and this is what you get to see, your fucking commute?

The familiar rhythmic kathunk of the new concrete road-surface; you preferred the blacktop, even if it did go to pot every summer. Gone. It's back. The sound. You're sent adrift with no companion but that tormentor. It doesn't go away, as the image of dearest mother dominates the spectacle of your passing. You half-hear an amalgamation of arguments with her, and it pisses you off that you can't get a fond memory instead of this. But, you do prefer this to... silence. Oh, here you are camping with your dad. It's night, the fire is crackling, the wind through the trees haunt you. You begin to realize the end is near.

This time, you anticipate the drone's return, but you can't avoid the fear that this is all there is left. You come to terms with the sound. You appreciate its richness and depth, and give in to it. You hold onto it as a last bit of vitality. You've accepted your fate. A solitary fond memory flourishes in your mind, and you're allowed to linger. You understand it's time to depart. The sound totally envelopes you now, waxing and waning, and you imagine you're smiling as the sound crests.

1. Colder
2. Warmer

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