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English: Kiri No Oto

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Album Review

What a wonderful idea the Touch label had to add Australian soundsmith Lawrence English to its fold. The man has belonged on that label almost since his beginnings, but even moreso with the gorgeous Kiri No Oto. The title is Japanese for "sound of fog" or "sound of mist," an apt description of the music herein. Slightly warmer than English's previous album For Varying Degrees of Winter, Kiri No Oto focuses on soft blankets of filtered sounds (organ, guitar, found sounds), delicately overlaid and panned in and out of focus. The 45-minute album unfolds like a single extended piece, each movement bringing in different hues. The opening "Organs Lost at Sea" jumps straight to the point, engulfing the listener in its harsh-yet-harmless textures. Things boil down suddenly with "Soft Fuse," then gradually climb back toward a climax in the penultimate piece, "Figure's Lone Static." That track ends quietly, luring us into the even more climactic climax (and abrupt landing) of "Oamura." Kiri No Oto marks a new page for English, whose sound used to be less expansive and slightly closer to the "glitch" ethos. Here, he dives straight into ambient noise music, more Fennesz than Thomas Köner, and it works. This album, presented as the first installment in a series of like-minded records, is not particularly innovative, but whereas others dabble and try, English executes — with sensitivity and artistic flair. Highly recommended. ~ François Couture, Rovi

English: Kiri No Oto, Lawrence English
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