Review of Loss [12k2037]

The Sky (.ORG)

Listen. This, really, is what I want from ambient. Music that creates a space, and then leaves it open. That doesn’t coax you to enter its world, but merely invites – or more simply, equanimously, permits, yours to coexist with it. Liberation from the constant, subconscious tension and release of rhythmic frameworks, harmonic progressions, melodic lines that only point in one direction. Patience yielding to detachment yielding to content. My favorite ambient recording, The Marmalade Balloon by The Mico Nonet, has been described as akin to “listening to an orchestra warming up for half an hour”; in one sense it is sonically, informationally dense music – it consists of five musicians improvising concurrently for more or less its entire length – but the information never really coheres to any discernible logic or pattern, and the effect is to erase any semblance of a frame of reference, even nullifying the sense of time altogether. “Veering,” like the rest of Marcus Fischer’s Loss – the first solo full-length album in five years from a Portland, OR-based artist previously unknown to me – functions in similar ways. Listening to it in one way, there’s a lot going on – drones flow and ebb, wobble and shift; a soft, guitar-like twinge returns at imprecise intervals; scuffs and scrapes maintain a steady dribbling, tactile counterpoint. Listen another way, there’s virtually nothing there. Neither is the “right” way. These sounds don’t need to be explained or interpreted. There is no should.

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