Review of Break [12k1089]

Tartine De Contrebasse (FR)

Translated from French

Acoustic descriptions swarming with microscopic details, discreet odes to invisible environments in the most beautiful japanese ambient style, so delicate, tribute to the elements in a restrained sonic diversity… That’s how I perceive the electronic magic of Illuha, duet from the Land of the Rising Sun between the native Tomoyoshi Date and the American-born Corey Fuller, that embraced for a long time the japanese culture under all its angles. Before we talk about his first solo long play for 12k interesting us today, it seemed necessary to me to replace the artist particularly in Illuha, that had for me a deep influence on my way to listen and appreciate ambient music still now. Without holding forth the fact that Fuller and Date released among the last things really worthy of interest until today in 2014 for 12k, with their sublime Akari and next to the not less solar Solstøv by Pjusk, the extensive sense of detail exposed by the two musicians through their last work only matched the subtlety they used to invite dozens of aural sources to cohabit in balance in a yet pretty narrow space. A mute poem telling the story of fragments of light briefly uncovering the hidden richness of the interstices, before meeting the dark forever.

Corey Fuller seems to partially take his inspiration from this concept, but at a larger scale in Break, with a surprising accuracy and elegance. And I do not tell that about the artist but the label, whose golden days date back to almost five years, and from which I personally didn’t expect anything more since ; thanks for proving me wrong Taylor Deupree. And how can we better interpret the light and its transience than recording a piano and all its flaws that we often want to silence ? The fullness of the notes translates the purity of the sun, but the cracks of the hammers and the action of the fingers on the keys remind that the aseptic beauty we imagine is first born from the real world and its quirks. With a hint of intellectual dishonesty, I picture Break as the wise kid of Dropped Pianos by Tim Hecker and Tiento de la Luz by Thomas Köner, mixing the expiatory stochasticity of the first and the comforting quasi-perfection of an other world of the second. Add on this a deep sense of melody constantly fighting against the time seeking to erase it in its flaking textures and ephemereal harmonies, and you will get a splendid manifesto about the turbulent transitions of existence.

A constant dialogue between serene threnodies on a calm sea and tumultuous desires of elsewhere towards misty horizons (Look Into the Heart of Light, the Silence), between polyhertzian storms flaying the gates of the soul and blinding cathartic arpeggios taking back to the surface (Seiche), between memories weighed down by the dust of the years and sufferings partially eluded but entirely felt nonetheless (Illvi∂ri). A will to experience the past again to better free ourselves from it, through tracks of universal feelings never explained but always implied ; the punctual presence of voices and noises of our daily life remind that Man is tacitly at the center of the album, but that he doesn’t need to have the exclusivity of the place. And Break suggests in the end to go forward by expiating the loads that prevent us to make our own way towards the skies from which its aura arises, lifting us up to the zenith and transfixing us with light arrows bringing the heart back to the life he deserves rather than the one he endures.

Complex but sensitive, volatile but precious, Break reconnects with the 12k releases we loved, those where aerial sonic layers knew they had to keep a tight link with the earth that saw them grow, those where all the elements coexist without thinking one of them is worthier than the others. Those of an unstable organic harmony captured for just a few instants, and then given to the audience in a digital eternity without losing their meaning. Corey Fuller understood that, and even if Lamentations or A Hymn for the Broken might fall a bit too much in the pathos, it won’t be enough to tarnish the surprise he offers us in the beginning of this year with a very moving work more than commendable.

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