Yesternights by Quest

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Quest | Yesternights
st.an.da. (CD/DL)

Frans de Waard‘s long-running aka Quest has been consistently putting out quizzical electronics over the past few years, nearly one per annum. On Yesternights (edition of 100 on the Silentes sub-label) we are engaged with symphonic swelling synths that are like molecules of mist. The seven tracks open with the slightly warped For A Long Time which is like a vigorous long shower in that mist, in slow-motion, and half awake. In my ears for a few decades de Waard is one of the most individual of creatives, and supremely auspicious in terms of diverse material. This is Quest as its most slipstream subconscious as it gets. The form, like fog, evaporates into a grainy wash of drone, melodies drift away.

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His is something quite ephemeral on this release, and something transient, morphing. From Dusk is like a crisp wind passing through two skyscrapers in Chicago, though there is an equal tension given to the way he incorporates microsound – and in the end it all evaporates as if in reverse action trick photography. The mesmerizing mix of layers on the effervecent With A Full Moon which pairs a frothy rhythm and a nicely fragmented cricket-like pop and hiss. And these pieces meld into each other seamlessly, you may not notice at first.

The temperature moderates between warm and a slight chill. If you want to be wrapt betwixt ethereal field recordings and a Juno 60, by Jove ladies and gents you hath arrived. I’m serious. He’s serious. This is up with some of the best work of his long career, and should be somehow transfigured into a traveling sleep concert. He ends this set with the title track which is a little more ambiguous in terms of the already REM-inducing setting. Here de Waard uses a slightly unsettling free reverb that regenerates on repeat with open passages in between. It’s a mysterious ‘beam-me-up’ effect that over time might be quite hypnotic. Due to the slightly more bold form I wish this work were the first and not the final track, though if you play this cyclically that could be obliged. It leaves you with a numbing, tingling sensation.

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