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deaf center - Pale Ravine
With the astounding quality of releases that have appeared on Type recently, it would be easy to become blasé over their output. Deaf Center shake you from any such complacency - delivering here a record that will be extremely hard to beat as album of the year for 2005. Apparently inspired by "old silent 8mm film reels and historical architecture", the Norwegian duo of Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland have produced a lambent debut that recalls the likes of William Basinski (particularly the 'Disintegration Loops' indebted 'Lobby'), Marsen Jules and Harold Budd. Over layers of warmly battered aural sediment, Deaf Center build the kind of vista-expanding, piano tinged music that has you thinking you're in your very own film. Manifesting itself in the stravaig and epic iciness of 'Thread', or the etiolated Nyman piano of 'White Lake', Deaf Center have a seemingly bottomless supply of aural dignity and pathos on which to draw. Other highlights include the tense strings and snatched choirs of 'Stone Beacon', the thrumming piano of 'Loft' and the soaring orchestral pomp of 'Thunder Night'. Just incredible music.