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Orchard & Ponds’s ‘Preparations’ (MP3s)

There are three short and one very long piece on Preparations, the recent album by Orchard & Ponds. The short ones range from barely a minute in length to just over two, and are entirely knowable: brief little exercises in low-slung, artfully maudlin sound. There’s a muffled recording of what is likely a mother singing to a child (“Lullaby”: MP3), heard as if through a thick wall; though always recognizable as a voice, on repeated listens it becomes a single melismatic sound, tracing the contours of the melody, and slowly dispensing with whatever words are involved. There’s an acoustic guitar ramble that brushes up against a rough harmonica (“The Drake”: MP3). And there’s a soulful mix of guitar and shards of roughly, lightly bowed violin that emphasizes the textural elements of both (“Bredoleau”: MP3).

And then there’s the title track, which at upwards of three quarters of an hour is not fully knowable (“Preparations”: MP3). Despite its title, there is no preparation for its extended near-silence, less a drone than an audio document of warm dust (for anyone who’s not an occasional or longtime reader of this website, that last description is intended as high praise). It’s a steadily paced investigation of quiet reverb, light static, and distant feedback, all given a semblance of structure thanks to some almost invisible looping, and the fact that the piece is bookended on the album by shorter, more concertedly defined works.

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

More details on the release at the releasing netlabel, pandafuzz.com. More on Orchard & Ponds at fluxed.net/orchardandponds.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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One Comment

  1. nathan
    [ Posted November 4, 2009, at 7:05 am ]

    thanks for posting my album and for the kind words! the comment “audio document of warm dust” is really appreciated, i think that nails it.

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