Saturday, March 20, 2010

PSYCHOPOMP - CHAPTER FOUR (Twitter Novel / Keitai Shousetsu)

To start at Chapter One, click here

Retrieved from internet on 2/17/10, http//

KG – “The Narrow Way” (Abstrakt Recordings)

Like a lot of people, I fell in love with ambient music in college: it was pretty all-purpose for studying, smoking, sex and sleeping. Aside from the classic stuff (Eno, Budd, early Aphex Twin) the one that got the most play on my stereo was KG’s “Desert Music II”. His warmly distorted pedal steel was a revelation, like some dreamy combination of Ry Cooder and Robert Fripp, and the music, although placeless and timeless, still seemed somehow rooted in the American experience. His later, more world-focused work (most notably “Off Koh Samui”) also contained some real highlights, but the native percussion came too close to the fore to consider it truly ambient, at least in my opinion.

Well, be careful what you wish for, because although “The Narrow Way” does remove the percussive clutter, it replaces it with...nothing. A whole lot of nothing. Consisting of one 60-minute track, “The Narrow Way” is, according to its press kit, “an investigation into the spaces between thoughts”, and brother, they’re not kidding. Even at a relatively high volume, the album barely exists. A low thrum permeates, occasionally accentuated by a brief piano figure or series of far-off, water-echoed bells. That’s it. The aforementioned pedal steel, distorted or not, makes not one single appearance and without anything to fill the space (sorry) left by KG’s dominant instrument, the music floats away in a manner that doesn’t take you with it. Uninspired and uninspiring. TWO STARS

Go to Chapter Five


tipota said...

this is so brilliant jason. a critical point makes music different than sound. (i'll cite john cage here, tho he was one of the first he s not alone) i guess it depends on how its listened to. the phenomenology of listening.
KG gets more fascinating. great stuff jason!

Anonymous said...

just started reading this series and love it. i want to know more about KG!

Cocoyea said...

I also want to know more about KG. The music part of it is totally fascinating.

Jason Gusmann said...

thank you all so much. truly appreciate you folks coming back again and again - it means a lot.