Monday, October 31, 2016

Lull: Continue

Well, it is Halloween and I've often considered taking this 1996 recording, released on Relapse Records, or others made under the moniker of Lull by Mick Harris and playing it outside when trick or treaters tentatively make their way up to the house.

This is partly because I live in a canyon community, appropriately called Sleepy Hollow, where we have dark, narrow streets, lots of trees, and, in this case, a replica Victorian home that might give an aura of spookiness, particularly when decorated for Halloween.

Then, if Continue is playing in its entirety as an unbroken 62 minute exercise in slow, dark, hypnotic electronic droning, how could a trick or treater not feel a sense of dread, foreboding, unease and even fear?

Any other day in the year, though, at least to this listener, the album actually has a calming, introspective effect, even if it does have a chilling aura to it.  Harris establishes, without overt rhythm, a sense of flow and the rising and falling of electronic sound that captivates and draws the listener in.  He creates a powerful aural soundscape that doesn't get old.

Whether it is music to many people is another question entirely.  As the description of this blog states, courtesy of the great modernist composer Edgard VarĂ©se, "music is organized sound."  How that factors into conventional conceptions like melody, harmony, counterpoint or how it might square with orthodox views on beauty is up to the hearer.

For this listener, Continue is a fascinating immersive experience, a sound world that blots out extraneous circumstances when heard on headphones.  It is a aural journey into a world that is dark, but also fluid and open.   In fact, it is no accident that Lull's first recording was titled Journey through Underworlds.

Because, yeah, it is like that.

Harris has been conspicuously silent for the last couple of years and hopefully has not given up on making music.  With Scorn, Lull, and his many collaborations, his body of distinctive work has been really interesting.  May he reemerge with new music soon, no matter what the moniker.

No comments:

Post a Comment