A mishmash of 825 mechanized boxes, they jammed into each other until they evoke the percussion of a distant genre. A collection of 663 delayed metal cleaners, popping from the surface until they apply a congested gendang venue. A surface of 1,1000 sqft of plastic wrap, ripped by vents and calls the music static. These are just three of the dozens of facilities and statues that Swiss composer Zimoun has orchestrated over the past 2 decades, evokes incredible noise from clusters of everyday objects. (Highly recommended: Pass a few laughs and enthralled minutes or hours watching Zimoun’s clever system.) They are attempts to create a feeling of discord through regulation, you’ re overwhelmed by their influence. While such statues are jobs, them trigger a keen sense of question — and where in your day-to-day life have you ignored those kind of options?
Zimoun’s true songs, tho, have never quite collected the many sibling sensations of plot and fantasy quite like Guitar Studies I–III, a new masterpiece of meticulously created and completely engaging hour-long guitar robots that signals his breakthrough for Lawrence English’s vital Room 40. For each piece, Zimoun recorded an hour-long guitar solo, apiece, discovering a different concept, like an engine buzzing the lines, or a game tapping against them. He performed such takes through an arrangement of amplifiers, often hi-fi, but sometimes dirty, and occasionally re-recorded the results by playing the passes back through carboard pipes and even half-broken audio mottled with dust. There’s no channel or workaround Here. An apparent fiend for drudgery, Zimoun sewn and matched the strands until they match, criss crossed them over for neck and corrugation.
If that everything gets complicated, just remember this: By compacting together so many strands, Zimoun produces stretches of electrical noise which appear to either stop or start, neither the underside nor the sides. Hearing feels like strolling through a desert that appears lifeless until you realize why everything really is, and the Earth itself. “It could even be endless!” Zimoun once spoke of a previously updated version. “It is not happening anywhere and not arriving from anywhere — even if it is continuously changing.” Let’s finally bring to light some more, he masters that phenomenon.
The first of these three massive pieces unspools in a relatively quiet soliloquy from a member of Sunn O))). Massive chords roar in seemingly endless waves, buttressed by low harmonies and static quakes that rise and fall, like breathing. The more you listen and The longer you listen, Though they are in no hurry to decide if the new generation shall ever grow up, the more you hear; in the background of the second half of the track, for instance, Here’s a piercing hum. Hearing that high tone glacially peel away from the surrounding lows is a subtle but visceral thrill, like time-lapse video of seasonal ice breakup.
The 64-minute finale moves like one of Rhys Chatham or Glenn Branca’s signature guitar armies;, distilled until only the absolute essence remains. A fluorescent guitar tone serves as the through line of the piece, while other guitars offer variations — a distant tremolo murmur, a shorting cable crackle, a sweetly sighing riff. Just as there’s no clear beginning or end, “III” suggests that Zimoun doesn’t intend this music to be happy or sad, glowing or gloomy; as with reality, it hangs always somewhere in between.
This liminal sense is absorbed by the body “II” the album’s centerpiece and masterpiece, plus its best balancing act between control and chaos. A murmur of A melody repeats from start to finish, like a spring daydream beset by static blips and ghostly hums. Think GAS marooned in the Black Forest, or Fennesz forever scoring the same square inch of shimmering ocean. The piece feels one note away from collapse or completion, as if one more element would either end it or elevate it into euphoria. But change never comes, so “II” just flickers like an eternal flame, beautiful and bright, but somber.
Guitar Studies iiii will be one of the most rote criticisms of experimental music: everyone can do it, right? This Actually works, Maybe! Zimoun has been a guitarist since he was 10 years old, there are no fanciful licks or elaborate riffs here, Just patience and imagination. Given enough time and pedals to pedal, most decently competent instrumentalists can approximate most of these sounds, even if they did not have the resources to make such intricate cakes. That way, this music reflects geologic deep time, where rather ordinary events repeated over millions of years have shaped a splendid planet of mountains and canyons, rivers and plains. No one moment makes history or even stuns you; taken as a whole, the effect is awe-inspiring.