Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Black To Comm - Alphabet 1968

Black to Comm
Alphabet 1968
(2009, Type)
RIYL = Eluvium, Sean McCann, Mark Templeton

We live in an age where the construction of sustained, droning tones is no longer a difficulty. The market is flooded with pedals and laptop software and, well, I’m not really immersed in making drone music so I don’t have all the specifics, but suffice it to say, everyone and there mother seems to be making an experimental drone album (and half of them send them to the Forest Gospel inbox). Realizing this, I made the grave miscalculation of overlooking Black to Comm’s, AKA Marc Richter’s, Alphabet 1968. But that isn’t what this is at all – a drone record. Well partially. But really, Alphabet 1968 is much more than something so simple as a drone album - a subtle beat pulsing through the refrain. Alphabet 1968 is a hybrid of electronic and organic means settled in the most gorgeous and successful ways that I have perhaps ever heard. Sure, plenty of classical musicians or electronic musicians have melded the two worlds with exciting results, but never have they melted together so wonderfully as they do on this Black To Comm release. So, 1) it’s beautiful. And 2) It’s concise. Not too short, but (and this is the important part when dealing with experimental albums hinging on drone) not too long. You know how Prefuse 73 (or more recently Flying Lotus) meshes hip hop and electronica together at hyper speeds with terrific results? Black To Comm does the same here, just in a measured way that is more befitting of the “home listening” experience that these luxurious tones dabble in. Truly a marvelous record (and one, I suspect, many readers will already have listened to by now).


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