Carl Ritger’s Environment Sounds

On the engrossing Glance White into the Dark

Carl Ritger closes the year with four large, encompassing, engrossing sound environments that get ever more brutalist as the album containing them draws the listener in. Their procession on Glance White into the Dark is, like the music itself, expertly glacial, profoundly still. This is slow-motion music for slow-motion listening. By the time Ritger gets to “Coiling the Golden Loop,” all boiling cauldron, melty warbling melody, and woolen feedback, the listener has already made way through simpler, more placid surroundings — the droning, whistling realm of “Aspen Phase,” the static-laden, watery, echoing facets of the suite-like “Linger at the Well,” and the transformed bells that resound throughout much of “Hail, Isais!” Ranging in length between nearly 23 minutes and just shy of half an hour, each of the four pieces is less a composition than a texture map, less a musical recording than an assemblage of layered elements left to find their own uneasy peace.

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