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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

April’s Drones

Two albums of drones from April Larson

The title track of April Larson’s It Was Misplaced is an echo chamber of strings, layer upon layer of strings, half representing stasis, the other half momentum, and between them finding an uneasy truce. “Sorry, You Know About the Pain” seems built, as well, from strings, but they’re muffled, as if heard from the floor above, with the exception of one tiny screech, as if a single string on a single bow is getting through the obstruction — the result shows a level of pixel-perfect detail that drone music rarely achieves let alone aspires to. The whole album explores drones, from the choral-like “The Shape of Wings in One of Many Worlds” and “A Quiet Life in a War Zone” to the hush of “Black Arctic,” its out-of-focus drama like a Richter painting.

It Was Misplaced was released back in 2013, but I only just heard it this week after falling for her brand new album, Up Below on the Polar Seas label. These are more drones, denser and less specific in their constituent parts. Listen as a beading rumble infuses “Floating,” or a thrilling wind surfaces in “The Excavation.” Gorgeous stuff.

It Was Misplaced originally posted at aprillarson.bandcamp.com, Up Below at polarseasrecordings.bandcamp. More from Larson at soundcloud.com/april-larson.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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