Boomkat Product Review:
Beautifully wistful, washed out piano abstractions for fans of Jeck, Basinski, The Caretaker
“Fifth in the series is label co-owner Ruaridh Law, aka TVO’s ‘Jack On Piano’ TVO has long been fascinated with memory and transience. Indeed, the first release on Broken20 was ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale’, a meditation on memory and its fallibility. With ‘Jack On Piano’ Law delivers possibly his most overt construction on these themes, as it’s built purely on a found CDr of piano playing from Thomson’s elderly grandfather.
Sonically, the entire release is constructed from the found CD, complete with repetitions, pauses, speech and meanderings, making it, as Law puts it, “more of a field recording than a recording of a musical performance.” He also states that it’s the first time he’s tried to create purist ‘ambient’ music, in that “it’s designed absolutely for background”. Over six pieces, TVO creates a fragile sound world, as brittle and erratic as memory itself. While no other samples or synthesis are used, Law elicits his trademark sound through heavy use of granulators, comb filters and other over-processing techniques to build at times mammoth works that move from delicate minimalism to sheets of reverberated drone. The piano can be subsumed, and can then creep back inward unexpectedly to provide sudden ‘memories’ of the source material. As well as the clear antecedents in Law’s prior work, ‘Jack On Piano’ has echoes from the work of Philip Jeck and The Caretaker, artists who are similarly focussed on processing found material and rooting amongst old or forgotten motifs to unveil something new about ourselves."