André Foisy - Seven Thrones [Twilight Luggage - 2010]Seven Thrones is the first solo album from André Foisy, whose primary role as Locrian’s guitarist is presented this time unadorned by Terence Hannum’s keys, showcasing tones rich in natural textures, from sonorous shining metal to a dark, brooding wood more common of cellos. Although the title probably alludes to a sequence of seven 15th Century texts named after the seven brightest stars that form the Big Dipper, the sounds very much describe more earthly dimensions as they seem to reflect occurrences from the natural world.
The first of two extended tracks, ‘Like Light Over the Plain’ sees Foisy’s guitar extend layers of deep buzzing tones like glowing embers igniting arcs of metallic drones that soar gracefully under rising beams of feedback. Combining and separating in slow, natural yet deliberate cycles, their echoing trails quest through dark resonant properties to suggest the gradual, purposeful illumination of a vast cavern as opposed to the bleak outdoors of an open plain. André Foisy carefully traces the limits of the area revealing damp, irregular stone walls with dark crevasses before the shafts of light dancing through the space reveal the rippling echo of brief, nimble soloing. Explored with resolve the pulsing layers eventually settle into a single intoning bass note signalling an end to the ritual.
The second half of the album is concluded by ‘All Through Eternity’, an existential journey that seems to be formed by three main passages: the first is a gentle, quizzical repeating sequence of softly played low clouds with occasional twangs quivering before they echo away like small droplets felt before a storm. The middle third builds into a finger-picked riff whose gaps are increasingly filled through the delay pedal’s own precipitations, an effect reminiscent of Pink Floyd until the combination steadily gains strength with rougher edges to define a heavier rainfall. And the electric storm finally breaks in the last third as long distorted guitar tones emerge and drown out the preceding atmospherics to form an unstable roar of elemental proportions threatening to devolve into static before being abducted into the ether.
Particularly on this last track, Foisy’s free and expansive manoeuvres bring to mind some of the artists from Kranky’s roster, which, like Foisy, is also based in Chicago, centring as it does on epic ambience blending electronics with post-rock guitar at heart. The polished improvisations found on ‘Seven Thrones’, though, don’t seem to need any additional instrumentation to powerfully evoke its atmospheres with striking presence and depth.Russell Cuzner