Sunday, December 03, 2006


I'd like to call myself a big fan of Peter Wright, the New Zealand-native mega-droner now living in London, but I've only heard one of his releases, the consistently excellent Pariahs Sing Om. Still, that massive release does contain three sonically huge CDs, and the fact that I've returned to its 3-plus hours numerous times since acquiring it back in March certainly makes me a fanatic of some sort. The wide variety of drones, echoes, reverberations, and awe-inspiring sonic sculptures on this epic just never seem to stop, and if Wright never makes another record again, this record alone means his career will still dwarf those of many of us mortals.

If I had to come up with a complaint about Pariahs Sing Om - and it's really more a daydream than a complaint - it would be that I keep getting the sense that Wright could go all-out noise without any loss of subtelty or charisma. He comes close a lot of times, but never quite completely gets there. I actually think that restraint is part of Pariahs Sing Om's eternal charm, but my theory is still proven right by the first track on a tour-only double CD called Folk Songs and Blackness, which I bought from Peter last night before his great set at every D.C. noisenik's second home, 611 Florida. (Peter and his fellow drone traveler Anthony Milton, whose set was also stellar, had a drool-worthy smattering of stuff for sale, but collectors will be proud to hear that my meager wallet scrapings went straight for the one thing there that said "edition of 50.")

The rest of this set is pretty excellent so far too, but the track in question, "Folk Song for Obsession," is an immediate stunner. Wright wastes little time getting to a deep, dark howl, pouncing on an engine-like roar that builds into a distorted nightmare. A lot of Wright's work mixes found sounds and recorded ambiences into his guitar-based drones, but I dig how this one has no immediately recognizable traces of such objects, yet still is bulging with outdoor-like atmosphere - kinda sounds like an airport inside a cave, or a thunderstorm in which all the world's electric wires are crackling and rumbling in kind. I also dig how Wright lets the anomalies in his recording - the crushed overloads and subtle glitches - create their own music. I wouldn't want Wright to ever abandon the wide tonal range he's established up to now, but more stuff like this would be a great move, as his ability to massage liquid textures out of solid sounds make him more than up to the task.

PETER WRIGHT - "Folk Song for Obsession" from Folk Songs and Blackness


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter