Boomkat Product Review:
In keeping with tradition (this time last year they dropped that insanely brilliant Else Marie Pade collection), Important drop one of the most quietly crucial albums of the year with this rich, rewarding split album from two of the label’s most notable artists: Eleh and Tara Jane O’Neil.
Sound sculptures and gongs by Harry Bertoia unite both sides of the album. O’Neil's Medusa Smack was commissioned by Venessa Renwick for her video installation of the same name, originally screened in 2012 at the Oregon Biennial. The piece is partially comprised of sounds recorded by Harry Bertoia on his own Sonambient sound sculptures, as well as a recording Tara made of Athanasius Kircher's Bell Wheel at the Museum of Jurassic Technology. The result is nothing short of revelatory - O’Neil has always impressed us with her evocative, cleverly produced songwriting, but honestly with this side-long piece she has managed to construct the single most absorbing piece of drone music we have heard this year - it’s just utterly breathtaking within its disciplined, measured approach.
Eleh’s side is entitled Circle Four: 100 Gongs For Arieto and consists of those 100 gongs synthesised on a Serge modular system to honour the centennial of Bertoia's birth in 2015. The result is one of Eleh’s best - replacing his usual palette with a spherical, tempered Droneworld that slowly billows and undulates with that characteristic restraint, but with a warmth of texture sometimes missing from his work.
With suitably sublime packaging to boot, it’s a hugely recommend purchase for followers of either artist or those of you still holding out for 2015’s finest drone album.