Thursday, January 14, 2010

Benjamin Nelson - Benjamin Nelson (Semata, 2009)


Benjamin Nelson - Live At The Piano Factory 9.23.08








Take note, drone lovers. Benjamin Nelson may need an introduction this time, but in a couple years this dude is going to, like, not need an introduction... or something. HE'S GONNA BE FAMOUS.

Anyway, Nelson used to play in the hardcore power duo Fire In The Head, he also played in Tides, but now he's all by his lonesome, and something tells me he prefers it that way. Nelson does some minimally grandiose shit, without going all epic climax on your ass. It's drone done right.

The A side has his first live solo set with modular synth opening for John Wiese at The Piano Factory. It's astoundingly mesmerizing, so lush and delicate. The densest, unwavering solid He-man drone ever. It doesn't really grow or fade so much, it's more focused on the subtle shifts that have created a same-but-different piece halfway through, only to change back to the different-but-same sound at the end.

"Standing Field" is what you get on the flip side and it's a bit less blissful. It's a heavy slab of bottom feeding drone, so close to gripping the doom label, but ends up settling for "unsettling." Slow moving to the point of paralysis, with the most subdued flickers of light weaving their way throughout. This shit is so barely there that the tape hiss becomes part of the piece by necessity and it works wonders.

So, in conclusion, keep your eyes fucking glued to this guy. Way to go Semata for putting out Nelson's (first?) solo release. Look out for a split LP with Brandon Terzakis and some more solo output on Intransitive offshoot Squirrel Brand (which perhaps has been renamed to Songs From Under The Floorboards?).

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