Review of In A Second Floor Window [12k1100]

Ondarock (IT)

At the beginning of Christopher Bissonnette’s career, almost twenty years ago – it was the time of the unmissable “Periphery” and “In Between Words” – Taylor Deupree shared the mixer console for mastering the musician’s CDs with Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv. For a few years he has been producing and printing Bissonnette’s works: “From A Second Floor Window” is the second album published for the prestigious 12k, after the wonderful “Wayfinding” of 2020.

The theme of the new work is isolation. More and more closed in his home studio, Bissonette returns to meditate on melodies built with a few notes left to float in cosmic space. The sound is grainy and shines with infinite detail. The atmosphere, on the contrary, is monotonous, preferring little nuance. Even the dynamics of Bissonnette’s melodies are affected: “Follower” is the description of a shade of grey; on the following “Batiste” the strings of analogue instruments create a warmth that is otherwise absent.

From “Westerly” onwards the album opens thanks to sunnier melodies, although no less melancholy. Bissonnette returns to using very high frequencies, as in his records from fifteen years ago: timbres that serve to build mirror labyrinths in which the sound is reflected in infinite reverberations and mutations.

The track that closes the album, “Undertow”, finally shows Bissonnette aligned with the ultra-romantic aesthetic of his friend Deupree’s label: an impalpable sound, in some ways lighter, and less oppressive.

A booklet included with the CD collects poems written by Mark Laliberte and Jade Wallace thanks to the suggestions provided by listening to some tracks on the album.

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