Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Andrew Paine, Five Perspectives (On The Same Event), Apollolaan Recordings, 2008

"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." While it would be naïve to peg Glasgow’s Andrew Paine as a direct descendant of the father of experimental minimalism—ignoring everything that has happened in music in between-- John Cage’s maxim on repetition goes a long way in capturing our experience of Five Perspectives (On The Same Event), released on Apollolaan Recordings last year.

Riding on a single, twenty-eight-minute track, Paine departs from a simple leitmotif, repeats it ad finitum, and sends it flying everywhere, nowhere, and straight into the pleasure centers in your brain. His half-sung, half-spoken incarnation of the phrase “I was born in silence” may seem a bit grating at first, but it begins to grow on you after the first ten or twelve replays; once it really becomes ingrained, it is likely to summon flashes of everything from black spiritual song to Gregorian chant and Buddhist prayer. Harmonica, guitar and miscellaneous effects snake in and out of the mix, occasionally becoming animals in their own right and ousting the vocals with ominous gray cumuli of drone.

When Paine’s incantation returns further on in journey with a couple of new words added into the equation, we feel light-years away from where we started, and shocked by the amount of psychological ground we have covered with so little material to ride on. Five Perspectives (On The Same Event) is one beautiful anomaly of an album, mostly because it doesn’t actually develop. It develops inside of your head, and that is no small accomplishment.

Limited Edition of 50 (sold out!), with hand-painted cover art.

Words: Emilie Friedlander

Originally published on Foxy Digitalis, Spring 2009

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