All of your favorites, in one place.
Originally released on vinyl in the summer of last year, and presented as an extended play single, these three pieces total less than 25 minutes, and while the collaborators have chosen to present the recordings in these versions, the fade-outs suggest there's more to them than what we're given.
There's a lot of movement in the stillness here. The faint rhythms on "Queen of Heaven" are only a backdrop to the very prominent sustained layers of keyboards and almost inaudibly low frequency bass. It's like watching the wind blow through tall blades of grass under a stale, mean, and old sun in the mid-afternoon. It's that time that is hottest and brightest before the sun begins to set. All the tall blades hold solid in their ground and sway elegantly, mimicking a water-like ripple with even the slightest breeze. While the instrumentation differs significantly from "Pale Shadow" (from 2007's Ghosts On Water) the hot and bright feeling achieved here is quite familiar.
The second piece, "Of Beauty Reminiscing" is more blatant on a few levels. It not only shares a title with a Vikki Jackman long player, it also incorporates some of Suzuki 's familiar cricket sounds, like those used on "Fuxen" from Chalk and Suzuki's first collaborative release, The Days After, released in 2003. These crickets, however, are faster and livelier, much like crickets heard at dusk. They make the ones from "Fuxen" sound like night time crickets about to fall asleep. Regardless, there's more melodic development here than on the early collaborations, and it continues through the closer, "The Water Clock," which, once again, has very prominent keyboard and bass, with a surprisingly loud, even pinching analog synth melody. It also features piano by Vikki Jackman and a stringed instrument (probably a guitar) being faintly plucked, almost Jandek-like, naked, and uncompressed. But these instruments only add a slight seasoning to the periphery.
I enjoy that the two have, for the most part, pared down their instrumentation, focusing more on what they have and what to do with it. They don't toss as many sources in as they have in previous sessions—there's no singing nor random piano banging this time around. Its brevity is a tease, unfortunately, as I could easily listen to much longer versions. In turn, I found myself repeating the album while doing late afternoon/early evening work in the recent hot weather. (Brainwashed)