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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Lawrence English - Lassitude [Room 40 - 2020]

Lassitude severs up two twenty-minute slices of moodily simmer & subtle entrancing drone matter created by a 19th Century pipe organ. This new digital download album is from respected Australian sound maker/sound artist Lawrence English, who also runs Room 40 the label that put out this release.

The pipe organ that the pieces were created on is housed in a once Museum in Brisbane, which today is used for more performance art- and in one corner of the space is the organ which designed Melbourne based organ maker William Anderson in the 19th century- and as far as I can gather the first track here features some adjustments/ manipulation, but the second is played live in one take.

Each track hits around the twenty-minute mark with a total release runtime of forty-one minutes. The first track is entitled ďSaccade (For …liane Radigue)" - here we find a blend of mid-range simmer/ hover, which is backed by a distant sort of hiss- tone, Iím not sure if this is rain or background room noise- but it sounds like itís been enhanced/ altered somehow- and this addition pulls you deeper into the drone, as you try & hear if you can make of the sonic shape of the element. Ever so often the whole thing feels like itís building in layers of rich purring sustain- whether if it is or itís just a trick of the drone Iím not sure- but itís certainly most effective. As drone work goes thereís a sort of darkly regal feel to the whole thing.

The second track is the title track- and this is built around this great sort of hovering tone churn, around this central point we seem to get more sub-tone layers introduced.The central tone has a very 50ís Sci-fi film vibe about it, and as the drone carries on the whole thing builds nicely in its droning intensity.Due to the feel of the central tone I keep going back to the imagery of lines of 1950ís American men been brainwashed in a cheap-looking space-craft set, by tall insect head beings. From time-to-time, you get rewarding key or button snaps occurring which nicely builds in a feel of latten automated movement to the whole thing. At times this track rather bought to mind some of the pieces Coil created on their ANS boxset, though the drone here feels more organic & analogue-based.

Iíve always rather enjoyed the tones of simmering and sustained pipe or church organ, and another album that utilizes this sonic tool greatly is 2009 Oaks- which  found Ethan Rose using an Ice rink based old Wurlitzer Theatre Organ to create work. On the whole, Lassitude is a worthy & effective drone release- as each track has itís own identity/ feel- yet also the organ tones are left relatively untouched/ altered so you get that wonderful rich feel of getting lost in the wonderful buzzing-yet-darkened heart of the pipe organ.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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