Tristan Kasten-Krause: Potential Landscapes (Whatever’s Clever, 2021)

May 11, 2021 at 5:44 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Tristan Kasten-Krause: Potential Landscapes

Composer Tristan Kasten-Krause recommends listening to these four drone pieces “at an immersive volume”. If my apartment walls weren’t so thin I would be cranking this up super loud, but even at a reasonable volume, there’s a lot going on that could be easy to miss if you’re just treating it as background audio. “Dawn Looming” stretches out so far over the horizon that you can almost see it physically vibrating, and it manages to fold itself into a compact space by sundown. “Euphoria Cancel” both levitates with Carol N Johnson’s violin playing and pummels with Jayson Gerycz’s rumbling percussion. Somehow it all builds up to a single “klong”, and then it all goes silent, as if it never happened. “From Thin Air” is mostly a showcase for Lisel’s cascading vocals, with backing by the composer’s double bass. Finally, “Contra” is a 15-minute bass drone which gradually balloons, then hits a more fragile section just as it seems like it’s gotten almost larger than life. It feels like Kasten-Krause is persisting and stretching as far as he can to get to the end, yet, it still sounds like an abrupt fade-out, so maybe he was able to go further.

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