07 July 2010

The Wind-up Bird / Colophon / 1 Mile North - conduction. convection. radiation (2004, Music Fellowship)

Third realization for the Triptych series of Music Fellowship, these time with three American projects loosely related to the post-rock scene but exploring mainly empty and minimal landscapes through ambient expression.

For 1 Mile North, the three tracks and twenty minutes of music are a kind of comet tail of their two albums. There is nothing new and a good announcement for the extended, indefinite hiatus this release opened.

The duo of Jon Hills and Mark Bajuk, mixes once again minimal layers of synth with slow, meandering and melancholic electric guitar, as usually adorned with a few less necessary sound (an harmonica on “East Coast Color”, piano on “Ashes and dust”, drums on “Silence the deaf”. Sadly these three compositions looks like like left aside and unused track from their two albums. Only the first one can be considered as successful, “East Coast Color”, where they develop one las time, these nocturnal, rarefied and almost motionless atmospheres, with minimal drone layers of sounds, while the guitar slowly expands through bitterness and introspection, you only have to close your eyes and being drifted away. It's the absence of guitar that makes “Ashes and Dust” empty and uneven, as the piano lacks of presence. The third one “Silence The Deaf” is from begin to end really weak, and never achieve ti stasis of weightlessness that was their trademark so far. Their contribution on this album is really below their usual level.

As related on his last.fm page, “Colophon is the moniker under which Tarentel guitarist Jefre Cantu-Ledesma pursues exercises in minimal electro-acoustic abstraction”. Of his third tracks, only the drones of “Texas Heat” are worth mentioning, like a lost Stars of the Lid track.

Using only instruments names as title tracks, and exploring very abstract and neat drone forms, The Wind-Up Bird falls into the theoretical category, intellectual developments, lacking of dimensions behind the music. So it's quite hard to feel concerned.

“Conduction. Convection. Radiation.” could have been great with the background of the contributing musicians, but sadly features no essential or particular composition.

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