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Of Whorls and Drones (MP3)

The Resting Bell netlabel’s four-part milestone marker, commemorating its 100th release, comes in the form of a pair of whorl-like compositions. Call them drones if you must, but the patterning is too recursive, too self-digesting, too senses-enveloping to adhere to the standard tenets of stasis suggested by “drone.” The beauty of the drone is that it is both melody and harmony at once, both a horizon-driving force, and a sea-to-sky expanse of haze. The whorl, in contrast, is constant motion disguised as stasis. The distinction is not either/or. Music can have aspects of both, and often does. In fact the most trenchant of the two pieces on the Resting Bell set, the opening track “GrimGrim,” becomes more drone-like as it comes to a close, moving from its shifting centrifugal main body to something sedate and remote (MP3). According to a brief liner note the work, attributed to Appalachian Falls, was performed live on “an array of distortion pedals and tape machines.” The combined effect has elements of the hypnotic pulsing and layers of classical minimalism, as if enacted by a shoegazer band.

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Track originally posted at restingbell.net. Visit for additional information, including a second track, “Antonym.” The set is titled GrimGrimAntonym. (Information on the recording artist is scant. A brief bio on the label’s website reads as follows: “Appalachian Falls is the work of I, sometimes with the help of A and some other friends.” There is no forwarding link.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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