I reviewed Knox Bronson's Pop Down the Years a little while back (here) and Seasons has followed with gratifying swiftness but also with an almost shockingly rapid maturation. Completely instrumental in a slow languid pace that urges the listener to relax and luxuriate, where Pop was quirky, interesting, and prog-oriented, Seasons is chambery in the Impressionist sense with tantalizing echoes of Eno (Summer of '68 uses the intriguing slow hooning of Discreet Music), Peter Baumann (ca Transharmonic Nights), Peter Michael Hamel, a tranked-out Terry Riley, and the more sensual of the electronicists.
The disc contains just four long songs for an hour's submersion in intelligent, slow, spare processionals and ambiences. Michael Hoenig peeks out occasionally from Autumnal Sun, though the estimable German never wrote like Bronson does, slowly shifting in sound fields, coloration, and environmental palette. The attention to perfection here is bracing, resulting in a piece of spacey furniture music, high art wanting for nothing, content to take its time in seeping through the speakers and into cerebellums. Mix the hedonism of the Ibiza crowd with the seriousness of old Brit/Kraut ventures, then add a sprinkling of the silently uncanny ideas of Vidna Obmana, and you have a starting point.
Despite the fact that the quartet of songs was composed during a dark period in the writer's life, every minute of Seasons sparkles. Even the moody segments have a shine and glow lifting them above the melancholy, indicative of the redemption art brings. The entire enterprise is pensive but never existentialist, remarkably zen in many ways, unattached to judgementalism, formula, and tradition. A goodly portion of the entirety is Debussy-esque, borrowing heavily from tone poem concepts for heady textures and gestures nailing down authenticity in genteel certainties alongside intriguing ambiguity. Pore over the progressive, electronica, and ambient catalogues as you will, you're not likely to find very many releases to stand with this one.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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