On Time Out of Time by William Basinski

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William Basinski | On Time Out of Time
Temporary Residence (LP/CD/DL)

Originally commissioned for installation work by Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand (in collaboration with Jean-Marc Chomaz and LIGO) for the Limits of Knowing exhibition (Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau) these two pieces delve into the cosmic, as in the black holes of space. Opening with the intriguing title piece (running just about forty minutes in length) Basinski manages to keep the listener at bay with a static infused drone that seems shaped by the darker hues of light and shadow. Far chillier than his most recent work, this is an exercise in redactive erasure and endurance. The work feels set on a singular perspective with the slightest variations being re/adjusted as a quivering whisper hovers in low light. It’s haunting and lovely as well as trance-inducing in its unfolding turtle’s pace.

Basinski offers another gestural work of timelessness that curiously seems to stare back at you as if in a mirror reflection, caressing every undulating form and vestige in its path. The initial chill thaws after fifteen minutes or so and nonchalantly introduces a colorful warmth. The record is not simply all ‘good feels’ as develops more like an observer probing away at the endless galaxy, staring into space with questions about what may lie beyond our Earthly realm.

4(E+D)4(ER=EPR) opens on contact, in this ignis fatuus of space that feels quite in-between a jet hangar and a cavernous basilica. The synthesized waviness dips and ripples are like the first disturbance at dawn of the thin surface layer of a lake on an otherwise still day. This track is classic Basinski and recalls the coasting rhythm many will be familiar with from other previous works in his catalogue. In the midst of the endless tapeloop the cadences begin to spool outside the lines, in moderation, as the tonal balance shifts into a dreamstate that eventually just floats into the ether.

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