Mendel Kaelen: The Tragedy That Drowned Itself (Sineszi, 2012)

February 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mendel Kaelen: The Tragedy That Drowned Itself

Mendel Kaelen: The Tragedy That Drowned Itself

An old, dusty harmonium is the only proper musical instrument heard here, but instead of sounding like you’d expect a harmonium drone album to sound like, the recordings present focus on the mechanical aspects of the instrument. As in, creaking and wheezing sounds that you might not expect to come from the instrument, or might tune out if you were playing it or trying to record it. It sounds like a field recording type album, you swear you hear gusts of wind or rain, or maybe sounds you might expect to hear on a ship or boat. Along with all the pumping and scraping, there’s still plenty of minimal, somewhat melodic droning. The album’s centerpiece, a 20 minute piece called “The Horse”, has the harmonium loud and upfront, but accompanied by all sorts of gnarly gnashing and crackling sounds. “The Heart” starts out with windy, static-y sounds and ends up focusing on a thick bass drone sound. “The Dream” ends the album, probably with the most clear and blissful drone sound on the album, but still with some birdlike squeals and watery ripples.

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