Sunday, March 18, 2012

Derek Piotr – Airing 8.5


                ‘Airing’ is dark. The title seems to refer to the expansion and inexplicable sudden ends that abound for the entire album. Everything on here gives an immediate sense of dread. Bells and rhythms give the album a near mystical quality. The half-chants that periodically appear in some of the tracks only heighten this sense. Derek’s unspoken, distorted sharp breath increase the sense of something not merely aural, but physical. And no doubt about it, ‘Airing’ is a physical experience. 

                'Colossus' begins with a sharp breath before a manic beat takes over. With the breath samples it feels like being privy to a sacrifice of some sort. A steady beat forms after the frantic pace of the introduction. Far-away voice pieces increase the sense of a bizarre religious ceremony, where the breathing is met with chants. Other songs, while sung with decipherable lyrics ‘Will Rise (Will Love)’ still maintain this sense of unease. ‘Will Rise (Will Love)’ is extraordinarily minimal. A beat keeps the pace as small shards of melody occasionally float in, such as that from a chopped up music box. 

                There is a lot of humanity in this recording. In fact, there is almost a battle between the electronic and the human. ‘Clandestine Spread’ for example has a constant vying between the natural violins versus the granular sound of tiny glitches and other mishaps. This is probably one of the most enjoyable pieces on the album. ‘Radimantra’ takes a similar approach with a slow, quiet cymbal brushes over a broken radio. 

                Derek Piotr takes a quieter approach on ‘Airing’ than he did for ‘AGORA’. It pays off in spades. Every detail is nearly tactile in its approach. Even the louder pieces ‘Islets’, ‘Marsz Żal’ have calm to them. The sound and mood is uniform throughout each of the fifteen tracks.  ‘Airing’ is a concise effort in a myriad of ways.

Out April 16th! 

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