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  • Release Date 2014-08-11
  • Label Clean Error
  • Catalog ERR014
The grid calls and we answer in unison, though we know not why nor whither as we traipse through the countryside colony. This sentiment reoccurs throughout Foreshadow Near the Mesa, the second P è n i n s o l a r release to date for New York’s Clean Error Records. For over two decades, this multi-instrumentalist and improvisational alchemist has deftly navigated the musical floodwaters of our time, sidestepping the clotting cobwebs of the ever-shifting paradigm of artistic representation and dissemination in the data-saturated age. One of the few Takemitsu/Morty Feldman indeterminates of this generation, P è n i n s o l a r‘s work on Mesa continues a career-long exploration of sound’s inherent copolymerization. Like connecting distant corners of a crystalline landscape, the artist plunders mechanical troves for digital detritus to construct sharp, bright clusters of sounds that pierce the ear only just enough, while from there to here, strangely fluid sequencing transcends the strictures imposed by the grid, enabling complex and even baroque arrangements to somehow create a calm and reassuring alignment. And yet, cool timbres abound on Mesa, as the weight and worth of every sonic event produce a fierce gravity which permeates the album’s 11 tracks. The gusto of the dulcet itself, though electronic in origin, maintains a unique response to myriad acoustic realities. There are humble nods to foundational IDM, sincere references to historical sound synthesis, and an overall reverence for the evolution of modern electronic music that yields a relational framework for intelligent listening. Even tonality’s turgid narrative receives its due place in this aesthetic, as chords swirl and retreat in playful disarray, ensnaring the casual ear with the promise of something familiar that never fully arrives. As with previous P è n i n s o l a r work, the album thrives on an uncanny dichotomy between the known and the unknowable, like the comfort of an artificial system in the face of the infinite. With Foreshadow Near The Mesa, P è n i n s o l a r delves even deeper into the mysteries of sound and source, and listening to the music feels like peering into the most remote corners of the grid where data assumes unpredictable patterns of movement as if in an effort to not to be seen or heard. - Grier Edward Carson


Foreshadow Near The Mesa