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The Disintegration 1 Import

4 customer reviews

Price: £14.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£14.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Disintegration 1 + The Disintegration Loops II (Remastered Reissue) + The Disintegration Loops III (Remastered Reissue)
Price For All Three: £42.25

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Musex
  • ASIN: B000EJVWJ0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,527 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gerard O'Doherty on 20 May 2012
The late Tony Wilson once said that you can tell someone of exceptional talent by their demeanour alone before even hearing their music.

Well, I've never met William Basinski but within 3 seconds of The Disintegration Loops I knew I was in the presence of something very different, almost magical. Reading reviews of this stuff online, the best description of it is this:

"Beguiling in a way that cannot be readily described"

Yes, it's not easy music to describe, this. Like the best music, it actually physically affects your body. The nearest thing I could compare it to would be either BoC's "Corsair" or some of the atmospherics on the second Burial album. But it's nothing like either of these in spirit - it's not got any darnce pretensions. Nor is an attempt at modern classical music. It's something new.

It's also the most melancholic sound I've heard since early Durutti Column (and it's nothing like that either).

Buy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave Hall on 10 Jan. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first came across the name William Basinski, and his Disintegration Loops, a couple of years ago, but only very recently bought this box set, having heard the Loops many times and struggling to understand whether this is divine music, or pretentious nonsense masquerading as profound art. I'm still undecided on that, I think perhaps it's a bit of both. But anyway, on January 1st I finally bought the set at the (relative bargain) price of 53 pounds.

So what is this? Well, it's 4 discs of looped music. In general, what you hear within the first 5 or 6 seconds of each piece is all you're going to hear for the entirety of it, until it starts to break up. When you find yourself 15 seconds in and you're thinking "Hmm, this is quite nice", and then you see there's still an hour of it to go, be aware that you really are only going to be hearing that same melody for the duration of the piece. There is no variation, it's the same snippet of (on the whole) pretty music played over and over and over again. And as bizarre and boring as that sounds, it's weirdly hypnotic and beautiful in its way.

I'm not going to bother with the 9/11 story, because I guess anyone reading this knows of it, or can read it on the Loops' Wikipedia page. It actually doesn't affect my reaction to the music, knowing that part of the Loops' story; I prefer to hear in these pieces decay of a more general kind. It is, though, a moving story, so I do encourage you to read up on it.

So firstly - what's in the box, what are you getting for your money? There are 4 discs containing the actual Loops, housed in good, sturdy cardboard gatefold sleeves. Inside these, the CDs are well protected in slip cases.

Disc 1 contains Loops 1.1 and 2.1. I find 1.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have had a long love affair with New York City. So has the composer William Basinski.
When, on the eleventh of September 2001, the two monolithic towers of The World Trade Centre
were reduced to rubble and dust and atoms, together with the bodies and souls of all those
unsuspecting victims who'd woken up that morning thinking that it would be a day just like any other,
time sort-of stopped, we all looped and re-looped those terrible images, re-running them in our mind's
eye and memory in utter disbelief. We knew that we had to start thinking about the World in a different
way. It turned out to be a day which would be indelibly burned into the history and heart of that
great city and all its proud and unimaginably brave inhabitants and workers. It was day like no other.

Mr Basiniski's work 'The Disintegration Loops' came about by accident. The sonic remains of a
collection of old musical samples held in invisible suspension on loops of magnetic tape until,
when replayed and re-recorded many years later, they crumbled away slowly in front of his eyes
as they passed over the tape heads; the almost imperceptibly degrading sounds were captured in
real time as they faded away into something approaching nothingness. New sounds from old moments.

This remastered edition of the nine pieces contained in the works 'The Disintegration Loops I - IV' are
spread out over four CDs. Disc 1 -'dip 1.1 & dip 1.2'; Disc 2 - 'dip 2.2 & dip.3'; Disc 3 - 'dip 4 & dip 5'
& Disc 4 - 'dip 6, dip 1.2 & dip 1.3'. A fifth CD contains two live recordings of 'dip 1.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Lopes on 24 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Everything OK
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Earthly orchestral sounds decaying into interstellar dust 28 May 2006
By dronecaster - Published on
William Basinski is a pioneer of ambient electronic music whose work goes back at least to the early 1980s, carrying the torch of an earlier generation of audio explorers whose primary tools were tape machines, feedback generators, and the like. His approach towards recording produces aural landscapes that are as alluring as they are austere. His most ambitious project thus far,The Disintegration Loops, is a 4 CD, 5 hour work dedicated to the victims of the 09/11/2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, is great enough not just in terms of its length but also scope, and solidifies Basinski's place in the pantheon of outstanding ambient/minimalist artists and composers.

The title of this review is the best way I can find to describe what this highly unusual music sounds like. Much has been said by previous writers as to the process by which these recordings were created, very few however have expressed the impact these loops have on the psyche while listening to them. Pastoral memories of childhood (dlp 1.1), slowly giving way to what sounds like static transmissions from another galaxy (dlp 2.2), with each piece becoming increasingly retrospective. The effect is hypnotic to be sure but also challenging, to listen to a 15-20 second loop being repeated for as long as one hour will be a test for many. But the manner in which each sonic landscape crumbles into nothingness is what makes each of these recordings so fascinating and hence lies its appeal. If you are turned off by minimalism, stay away from this, for it is minimalism in the extreme. But for everyone else, this is the best work of this type of music to be released so far this decade.

Postscript: This will also go well with your Oval and Bernard Gunter CDs.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
In The Eye of the Beholder 4 Mar. 2008
By sao - Published on
While Stephen Dranger's review is a fair literal interpretation of the physical characteristics of this music, (except that I would defy him to create anything this organic and beautiful in ten years with his computer, much less in 15 minutes), he obviously lacks any imagination whatsoever: the crucial ingredient in enjoying any music.

Also these snippets are not of "classical music" but of simple synth music Basinski created over twenty years ago.

Also, the linking of the project to 9/11 is hardly arbitrary or a ploy to emotionalize it. Basinski lives less than a mile from the Twin Towers and was creating the Disintegration Loops as they fell. He and his friends listened to these loops disintegrate on his rooftop through those strange, smoke filled days when it seemed the world was ending. But this music would be profoundly sorrowful without the connotation.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
hypnotically beautiful and haunting 25 Feb. 2006
By Donovan Burton - Published on
This is truly a beautiful recording.As i understand, it was made 20 years ago, forgotten, and when re-discovered by the Mr.Basinski, it was literally falling apart. As he transfered it to a new medium, the tape disintegrated and it's perfect. The sound is like a more ghostly Brian Eno ambient release. It loops in and through itself and gradually falls apart as you listen. A special kind of Magickal music that reflects the passage of time like few pieces of art ever have.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Perfect 30 Sept. 2010
By Kyle Freeland - Published on
Verified Purchase
The disintegration loops can not be classified as any kind of traditonal music. The entire series is ENTIRELY to long, and it can be almost a chore to listen too. The music is simple, if not paying attention too it, and when your ears are focused on the music you become overwhelmed with detail. I'm sure any one who has looked into William Basinski, and knows the entire backround behind the music. Music that exist in physical form no longer exist, on through the disintegration process that we here today. Music was finished during the process of 9/11 and so forth. Knowing all these things and the tasks given when listing to the album seems almost....not worth it.


This album to me is the most important piece of ambient art ever created. The music is arranged perfecty, there is no other way to explain it, you just have to listen to it. The length of the songs are long but in the process of listening to the music I felt really no sense of time when thrown myself into it. Its the death of music happening right in front of you and your just watching it fade away. Its very hard to try and explain the realy feelings that come along with this album. And if your a person that enjoys the true meaning of music and understanding the process of making something like this, you know that coincidence and time where the soul factors that molded this beautiful music. I would like to explain more and more about the album but there really isnt much i can say that hasn't been said, just knowing that this music can move people into so many diffrent ways to make them write and express there feelings for this album is enough.

As far as ambient music goes this is perfect
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Disintegration of Standard Conceptions of Music 13 Mar. 2010
By Dmagic - Published on
"The Disintegration Loops I-IV"
William Basinski

8.5 stars /10

Music, whether in the form of raw noise or more structured composition, has one universal characteristic--it is created. Born through technological, human, or natural means, sound is assembled from different frequencies and timbres, interwoven with rhythms and production, and laid on top of silence. Even a rest, pause, "fade out," or decrescendo are intentional sorts of musical creation in which something is created from nothing. Rarely is it the case that sound appears to dissolve on its own accord--more specifically, something collapsing into nothing.
On a quiet morning in 2001, the avant-garde sound artist William Basinski inadvertently composed such a piece on the roof of his Brooklyn apartment. He had planned to spend the day converting some 20 year-old tape loops into digital recording, but as he began playing the tapes, he found that the magnetic tape began to actually disintegrate. As the loops were playing, layers of iron oxide would crumble off of the tape and the sound would become more fragmented upon the next repetition. He called each of the tracks "Dip" and these were further divided into a four-volume album under the title "The Disintegration Loops." While a few of the loops are relatively short, two of the most compelling tracks, Dip4 and Dip3, clock in at 52 and 41 minutes in duration.
The piece, most of which consists of ambient piano and string melodies, are loops from what was originally intended to be nothing more than mere concept samples. However, the loops themselves are not necessarily meant to capture the listener, rather it is their presentation and repetition that gives them their artistic value. Even with their excessive length and repetition, the loops never bore the listener; each track actually seems to grow progressively more beautiful. The listener begins to sense something epic in the mood that the sounds evoke; an appreciation that seems to sink deeper into his subconscious as the melodies steadily persist. But just as one is lulled further toward this splendor, the forces of nature begin to fragment the riffs until they eventually decompose into complete silence. As itunes writes, "it is the true sound of deconstruction, the slow and relentless death of beauty over time." As this decay commences, the listener begins to experience a unique and terrifyingly real sense of loss. There is even a reaction of fear; perhaps because the source of the disintegration is so natural, causing the phenomena to feel as though it were being controlled by something almost God-like. The music is no longer in the hands of a composer, a human being, a machine, or even luck--it is as though the sounds were meant to disappear.
Coincidentally, on the morning that Basinski was creating these loops, it was September 11th, 2001. Hours later, he and his friends would watch as the World Trade Center towers collapsed to the ground a few blocks away. They stayed and listened to these tapes preach the apocalypse throughout the day; the smoke would rise and the world seemed to fall. Basinski had unintentionally stumbled upon what would become a requiem for a tragedy. But it was also the birth of the first music of its kind-- one that could capture, at least more realistically than ever before, the experience of death through the medium of sound itself.
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