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Italy’s eminent experimentalists and drone alchemist Paul Beauchamp distill a four hour installation ritual in Turin to a pair of phantasmic drone dub ecologies recalling The Hafler Trio, Peter Strickland’s Flux Gourmet, or Æthenor
‘Golden Leaf’ documents Larsen in collaboration with artist and sculptor Alessandro Sciaraffa, and chef Gabriele Gatti, during a secretive performance in an undisclosed Turin location, 2021. Intended as an alchemical rite involving crucial audience participation, and the use of interactive sound totems and exclusive food (uncannily pre-echoing ideas explored in Peter Strickland film, Flux Gourmet), the installation’s feast for the senses appears here condemned from four hours of sights, smells and sound to 47 minutes of mesmerising music edited by Turin’s Paul Beauchamp, a drone musician who also operates the O.F.F. Recording Studio frequented by Larsen.
Firming up as the band’s 19th album since they began in 1995 on the European avant-garde circuit, ‘Golden Leaf’ gives a potent flavour of the band’s durational endeavours in two contrasting sections. The first banks up as a fearsome mass of mulched drone, looming and dread-filled in its murky swill of guitars, modular synth and source material from Sciaraffa’s sound totem. The keening density of its first 10 minuyes induces a seasick queries to these ears, resolving into flattering high register tons and percussion, only to return to pan-slosh dynamics with heady results by the end. However their 2nd part is more sublime, quietly plangent, layered with distant voices and church bells that make us feel like we’re smashed on sunday morning, before Stephen O’Malley esque solo guitar strokes take over and dissolve the air to greyscale thizz.