Boomkat Product Review:
Lubomyr Melnyk's devastatingly intense 1979 solo piano debut - one for Steve Reich or Terry Riley devotees.
A minimalist classic, "KMH: Piano Music in the Continuous Mode" is a bizarrely under-appreciated behemoth in the deep listening canon. Sounding like an Erik Satie vinyl playes at the wrong speed, the album is centered around Melnyk's virtuoso fast playing, a style that allows the notes to fall into each other, creating breathtaking clouds of resonant harmony. Looping short phrases tumble and phase over and across each other inspiring a desperately unique, hypnotic mood that's hard not to get lost in. Melnyk plays deftly with concepts of tonal density rather than allow himself to get bogged down in the kind of joyless, sparse ivory minimalism we've heard regurgitated in recent years by you-know-who.
Melnyk's disorienting material works as a counter to all that blandwave nonsense, a healing salve, blessed with transcendent power that only reveals itself after multiple listening sessions. The devil is in the details, and flames spike from Melnyk's use of the piano's natural reverb and resonance as he creates harmony and dissonance simply from varying the speed of his performance. Shifting the pressure and enacting tiny shifts, Melnyk teases out soundscapes that hint at later ambient music - there are echoes of early Tim Hecker - yet still sound utterly distinctive.