Pinkcourtesyphone: Description Of Problem (Line, 2014)

August 1, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Pinkcourtesyphone: Description Of Problem

Pinkcourtesyphone: Description Of Problem

The newest installment of Richard Chartier’s prolific cinematic drone project (its 5th CD since 2012) is loaded with guests, featuring contributions from William Basinski (via voicemail), AGF, Cosey Fanni Tutti of Throbbing Gristle, Kid Congo Powers and Evelina Domnitch. “Description Of Problem / More Everything” invites comparisons to Basinski’s own Disintegration Loops, as his voice is looped and decayed and disintegrated, over rolling melancholy melodic loops and hissing drone. Its second half features a voice repeating “maybe too much… I want more… everything”, beckoning revelatory events to take place. “Perfunctory Attachments” features no guests, but starts with echo-shrouded French speaking, and then an even more Disintegration Loops-like faded melody is looped. The voice seems to have stopped speaking and is only sighing, and you’re sitting up, concerned, wondering what’s going to happen. It seems like terror could strike at any moment. The storm of tensions seems to die down, but there’s still a buzzing drone and more looped sighing. Police sirens wail in the distance. The looped melody returns, but the notes become lower and sadder. It ends with a door closing and a “voila!” “Our Story” begins with AGF whispering about shadows and spells over soft pulses, which turn into a more abrasive rhythm. There’s a steady pulse, and some beats that shove and flange, but it still doesn’t feel like any sort of beat intended to make you move. But that’s beside the point. It sounds intriguing and makes you focus on the whisperings and the otherworldly sounds surrounding them. “Boundlessly” is nearly 20 minutes long, starting with a tiny, footstep-like beat and glistening, slightly metallic wind. Cosey’s voice slowly and boldly breaks through this, telling a striking tale of an abused woman. The words are deliberately spaced out and echoed a few times so they have a lasting impact. The line “or so it may seem” ominously repeat several times while fading out to some cricket-like chirping electronic sounds, which continue walking down the minimal footstep path, stopping when Cosey starts repeating the words “I love you boundlessly” for the remainder of the piece. Last year’s remix release Please Pick Up featured a few different takes on the Kid Congo Powers collaboration “iamaphotograph”, but this release’s “darkroomversion” is possibly the darkest and creepiest version yet. His voice is distorted in such a ghastly tone, there’s no other way to hear it as anything other than being spoken by a demonic ghost. The music is smothered and choked, but it still has a rhythm carrying the ghoulish words. The piece ends with the vocals sounding more hellish than ever, repeating “I am a photograph, but my soul is missing.” The album ends with a truly lovely, affecting song called “I Wish You Goodbye”, with Evelina Domnitch’s voice bidding us farewell in the beginning, and a looped synth melody that swells up more than anywhere else on the album. She returns at the end, wishing you shelter from the storm before saying goodbye, and a haunting cry of “goodnight”.

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