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The Disintegration 1 Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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4 used from £11.98

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Musex
  • ASIN: B000EJVWJ0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,736 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BASINSKI, WILLIAM DISINTEGRATION LOOPS

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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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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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Format: Audio CD
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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