Thursday, January 30, 2014

Adrian Dziewanski-Archival Anthems; Prairie Fire Tapes, 2011; cassette

On account of a pretty dramatic "life change" that has occurred for Disaster Amnesiac recently, I've been doing a lot of walking of late. It's great, in the sense that one old skin has been shed, and also that my newly adopted home town of El Cerrito features the very cool Ohlone Greenway, a path that one can traverse from Berkeley all the way to Richmond. Not since Disaster Amnesiac's boyhood in Heidelberg, Germany have I had such sublime "spatzieren" experiences.
Adrian Dziewanski's Archival Anthems has been a pretty constant companion on these walks. Comprised of three long, droning tracks, this work's minimal keyboard clouds have provided plenty of mental space for this listener, in which to drift as I walk and ponder Big Picture questions.
Dziewanksi's method seems to be to set up a loop, made up of a reverberating chord, and then play sparse notes atop it. These three tunes' calm spaciousness drift along at their own stately pace. Opening track Pointed Logic chimes with what sound like tapes being played backward and ascending keyboard tones while a steady chordal drone gives backdrop. Deeper into its space, a voice intones....sound. The burbling drone and feedback of At the  Crest of the Sinking Sands imparts images of tall amplifiers, left on in some rehearsal room, speaking to each other in their individual micro-tones, lights winking quietly in the darkness. Anthems concludes with track Two to Every Plot, in which the keyboard drone is paired with what sounds like rushing water or winds. One sustained chord rises and falls in volume as, around it, small percussive sounds blow in the wind and quiet rumbles occur in amps. It's the  most haunted of the tracks, perhaps the specifically dedicated number to one Leon Przbylak, who is listed on the scant liner notes of the tape as having passed on in 2011. Much like so many unregarded phenomena, it quietly fades away into silence.
Archival Anthem's liminal, Minimal vibe has the feel of an intensely private ritual, occurring away from the crowds, where only feeling and true, personal intimacy matter. Delight in Dziewanki's wintered restraint.

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