31 December 2017


students of decay 2017, edition of ?

"fourth full length release by Montreal-based electro-acoustic composer Sarah Davachi and her second outing for Students of Decay. In a move which may surprise followers of her previous output, the five compositions on this record eschew synthesizer entirely, each focusing on a different instrument, including strings, voice, organ and piano. What remains consistent however is the striking attention to detail and commitment to investigating tonal possibility that characterizes all of her work. The sinewy 'For Strings' opens the album, with keening overtones stretching out in all directions to form a mass of slow moving, radiant sound. 'For Voice' charts an even more celestial course, as wordless vocals ebb and flow to awe-inspiring effect. The stunning, melancholic 'For Piano' closes the record and is something of a high watermark in Davachi's oeuvre to date, with plaintive piano figures nestled atop a shimmering string drone to create a richly emotive, reverent atmosphere. Ultimately, a confident step forward from an exciting artist whose compositional and aesthetic tendencies steer her steadfastly towards both the subjunctive and the sublime." - STUDENTS OF DECAY

bigger label stuff isn't as easy for me to tackle, i guess i feel like 1. i'm a weirdo cassette bottomfeeder so not only do DAVACHI and SOD not need my "press" in any way, i figure folks don't even come here lookin for high(er) profile stuff to begin with, so if i bother then 2. i figure i gotta make it count somehow, which is irrational, because 1. i like what i like and 2. i just do what i do, and if i didn't then i'd just be boring myself which is more than enough to make me not bother in the first place

DAVACHI has been on my radar since her 2014 sophomore (?) tape AUGUST HARP courtesy IMPORTANT's cassette imprint CASSAUNA, which showed me a lot of promise - she's extremely talented and established, now more than ever as an SOD mainstay, which i suppose carries nearly as much water these days as saying "TYPE mainstay" a decade ago, but for whatever reason i never fully connected with her music until last year's VERGERS lp also via IMPORTANT, where she turned a corner, but everything VERGERS does, ALL MY CIRCLES RUN does better

AMCR is absolutely stunning, prodigious, transcendental, leaps and bounds above and beyond her previous works by my measure, dare i say the best pure drone record i have heard since FIVE GUITARS FOR TONY CONRAD [REC #88], and i'm not so sure this isn't even better -though they are most certainly different beasts- as i can't easily think of somethin that outright bests this most elegant unassuming minimal drone masterpiece, other than an impossible all timer like ZEIT or somethin - it's the best non-cassette thing of 2017 to my ears, and it easily has what it takes to challenge shoo-in top tapes by CLAY & GORLEN [REC #173] and RAISING HOLY SPARKS [REC #192] for straight up favorite album of 2017