Nels Cline & Devin Sarno, Buried on Bunker Hill

“Swinging ” – A noisy, minimal, slow-moving wash of gritty sound…, with tunes. It’s true; every once and awhile some of the electronic sounds are pitches, lined up just like pitches in a melody. It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s fun when an actual little tune appears out of the mix. It’s largely electric guitar noise, so why not let some pitches in from time to time?

“Hydrofoil” – Slow rumbling and throbbing noise, with some classic musique concrète techniques, including playing the tape backwards. Only that part was so smooth and melodic going forwards (it’s plain), it’s smooth and melodic going backwards as well.

“A knot in the wrist” – Another long and slow-moving piece and, perhaps, most excruciatingly beautiful piece on the disc. All the tracks are pretty beautiful (not pretty), but “A knot…” is a really lush and rich kind of beauty. There’s plenty of grit and squeals, don’t get me wrong, and though it ends very softly, it gets really cranked until right before the end. It’s a fascinating piece, my favorite of a very interesting set.

“Only peace” – Oh, so now I have to convince you that “Only peace” has merit even though it’s not my favorite of the four. Well, forget all about favorites. Though sharing certain similarities—of instrumentation and of aesthetic—these are four quite different pieces, each with its distinct beauty and shape.

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