Boomkat Product Review:
The don daddy of drone music, proper, gets down to business with totally gripping results for the ace MMXX series, commissioned by Matière Mémoire.
Phill Niblock’s reputation almost ineffably precedes him as one of the 20th century’s most inspirational and lauded pioneers of drone music at its most elemental and affective. From an epiphanic formative experience of his motorcycle engine’s drone harmonising with that of a truck on the same road, to Stephen O’Malley and Peter Rehberg’s KTL titling killer cuts after him on ‘V’, Niblock has been key to defining the shape and weight of contemporary drone music for decades, and here proves his mettle in a quietly immense slab built from keening, sustained string pitches provided by four artists - Arne Deforce (cello), Deborah Walker (cello), Erik Drescher (flute) and Dafne Vicent Sandova (bassoon), all captured and recorded in Marcus Schmickler’s studio in Koln, with a Brauner microphone.
Where others in the series have tended toward the sublime, in ‘Browner’ Phill embraces a sort of palpably negative and needling energy thru layers of gnawing strings sustained at a wickedly dissonant tilt, coolly modulating their intensity between swarm of bees-like buzz to breathlessly vise-like with something of an avant-folkwise lilt that, to our ears, resonates with the music of his forebears Tony Conrad, Harley Gaber, and Giacinto Scelsi as much as the infinite blacknuss of deep space.