By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Such reconsideration is ironically due to his most exalted, enduring workthe four-volume Disintegration Loopsbeing an archival disaster. The D Loops are exactly that, heavily burdened string motifs that shed their metal oxide in the digital-transfer process to reveal a reverberating abyss beneath as de-structure. Recorded music's most blatant sound-into-silence moment outside of pre-war shellac crackle, they also soundtracked his film of Manhattan's smoldering skyline from the September 11 dusk.
Digging deeper in the '80s dirt, Current 93's imprint presents Basinski's basement tapes of piano variations: Mistake Variations at first for a new-age demo or finger exercises by some The Days of Our Lives pianist; either way, the pathos burns like a will-o'-the-wisp through the analog tape's mist.
Alternate realities of piano cells slowly accrue to radiate red-level warmth in the vacuous darkness of the present. Call it incidental music for ghost towns, sunken submarines, or caves in the bitter wind of the ice agewhich means the phantoms only sound primitive.