Review of In A Second Floor Window [12k1100]

Zen Sounds (DE)

In 2020, Canadian electronic musician Christopher Bissonnette released his album “Wayfaring” on 12k, which the press blurb called “an examination of reclusiveness”. His new record was conceived as a continuation of the themes and sounds of that album. Bissonnette produced it in a new studio, looking out of a second floor window – hence the simple album title.

Bissonnette has released a couple of albums on experimental label Kranky since the mid-2000s. Constantly experimenting with instruments and processes, this time he uses mainly synthesizers, electric pianos and mixing pads. The atmospheric range spans from uneasy, foggy to melancholic, droney pieces. The mood perfectly captures that sweet spot between fully taking in the moment and knowing it is going to pass. It is, by all means, a record of beautiful simplicity and restraint, but with a meticulous focus on detail.

Part of the album packaging is a booklet with poems by authors Mark Laliberte and Jade Wallace, who go by the collective name MA|DE, that were inspired by the tracks on “In A Second Floor Window”. 12k albums are often companioned by little books of photographs, drawings, or writings, that are usually somehow related to the music. They’re a way of underlining the importance of the album as a body of work, supercharging it with another artistic layer from a different perspective.

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