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Phil Durrant & Bill Thompson - Intraspect [Burning Harpsichord - 2019]

Recorded at the Intraspect Concert Series, the aptly named Intraspect sees the drone-noise stylings of Phil Durrant and Bill Thompson on their first ever recorded improv session. With Durrant handling the modular electronics and Bill Thompson playing the Moog guitar, the duo manages to create quite an atmosphere. Build with slowly growing and moving layers, Intraspect is a wonderful document of their 2018 performance. This second release on Burning Harpsichord shows great direction for this fledgling label.

Unexpectedly grimy, the interplay between the modular sludge and Moog guitar twisting sound like bridge connecting spaceship decks right before it gives way. Durrant & Thompson's Intraspect session is very contemplative improv. Not using sound for sound's sake, but rather slowly building, the duo puts forth an electronic soundscape that is minimal, yet dense, quiet, yet speaking volumes. Like a machine on a spiritual journey, the bristling electronic introspection fits well with the name of the festival (and presumably the M.O.). Drifting drones make up the basis of this session, and their interaction causes lovely constructive and destructive patterns. Slowly rolling forth with thick oscillations, the modular electronics are used to their best effect here. Adding flavor to these ambulatory layers is the Moog guitar. Sparse but powerful, these tones add emotional depth and feeling that moves in different directions than the base drone.

One 31 minute improv take, Intraspect plays more like a well thought out piece. With Phil Durrant & Bill Thompson tuning into their inner machines, the song that springs forth is introspective, heartfelt, and droningly delightful. The second release on Burning Harpsichord, and the first recording of Durrant & Thompson, Intraspect is a half-hour well spent.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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