The classically trained maple fucker has done it again.
I couldn’t think of a better album release to listen to as I transition from night shift to day. If you’ve ever done this before, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Very simple things suddenly come off as incredibly strange. The sun for instance, something so simple to ignore, seems insane. I saw it today for what it really is, a near-perfect spherical ball of hot burning plasma the size of about 1.3 million Earths that throws out about 6,126,984,126,984 Hiroshimas a second. When I took out my garbage today, it was just hanging out above me. No biggie, just a giant spinning fireball floating above me that’s older than I can conceive, more powerful than I can imagine, and so large that the earth uses it to stay in place, that’s just … you know, right fucking there. How is this our normal?
Ian’s music has this way of making you see the world in a new kind of light. His shit works as thus: a classically trained Canadian singer creates the music of Bon Iver’s wet dreams and records it onto tape. He takes the tape and fucks with it so it will disintegrate. While it’s disintegrating, he plays that shit and records whatever comes out. What you listen to is the end product. Some of you motherfuckers might know this as a William Basinski special. It’s a neat trick. This is not the first time it has been done. But, with Ian, it’s more than just some trippy experimental shit; this is his palette. He works with it almost exclusively. Chaos is his primary instrument.
This album is composed of 11 tracks that were made but never released between Ian’s 2014 release A Turn of Breath and his 2016 release Centres. And though this may make it sound like some sort of B-sides, it’s not. This album is a complete concrete whole. This shit is like entropic Sigur Rós. This is what heaven would sound like going through a paper shredder. This music is a beautiful death. You may wonder why Ian doesn’t just release his shit without fucking with it. He has, it’s called Slow Vessels. It’s solid. But, somehow, Ian has learned how to write songs that are made to be destroyed. His shit just sounds better when it’s fading from existence. It’s the instrument Ian plays best. The music, in its sound and in its unique way of being made, has this way of making you look over this beautiful mess of a world, the precariousness of everything we know, our reality, and what we consider “normal”, and seeing it for what it really is: a flash in the pan, a wicked fucking mistake, and a 14-billion-year-old death. And, sweet crispy Christ, what a beautiful fucking ride.