Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Jonathan Coleclough & Andrew Liles - Blackburn
I talked to Howard Stelzer at that BSC show earlier this year and he mentioned how excited he was about seeing Jonathan Coleclough at Brainwaves '08. So if Stelzer was excited, I should be too. Right? Right. Well, I decided to do a little research which got me pretty excited, hoping that my modest expectations would be exceeded. Jesus. They were fuckin exceeded alright. And Burn captures some of the amazingness I witnessed that night at Brainwaves.
Coleclough and Liles called this particular collaboration Burn for a very good reason. My guess, though, is that the reason gets lost on almost anyone listening to this who hasn't seen them live or read much about them. Coleclough does on Burn the same thing I saw him do at Brainwaves. Hooks up some audio sensor thingies to a pane of glass and takes a micro blow torch to it. What comes through the speakers is the most delicate, precise, and beautiful sounds of glass cracking ever recorded. Most of it sounds like it's in super sow motion but every now and then, a big piece will crack off and startle you.
While the burning and cracking glass is usually the forefront of Burn, Liles helps keep things interesting. At Brainwaves, he played around with a lot of various tape loops, laying down absolutely gorgeous drones. Here, I'm sure he's doing something similar, but there's also the occasional real instrument being played, like a piano or guitar. No matter what it is he does, though, it complements Coleclough's burning perfectly.
Burn is an absolute masterpiece in minimal drone soundscaping. Essential for all fans of the genre. Even without the whole glass "novelty" thing, this is still a truly superb piece of work.