William Basinski & Richard Chartier :: Divertissment (Important)

William Basinski & Richard Chartier’s signature styles mesh, coupling across an indeterminate void of shortwave signal and electronic noise filtered against and through each other.

William Basinski & Richard Chartier :: Divertissment (Important)

Important hosts post-digital doyen Richard Chartier for a hermetic collusion with buddy, Bill Basinski, Master of Disintegrality. Divertissement is the minimalist mavens’ third merger, following Untitled 1-3 (Line, 2008) and Aurora Liminalis (Line, 2013). It falls in the wake of Basinski’s Cascade/Deluge and the Three Themes of Pinkcourtesyphone, sounding secular-sacred spaces in between. Their signature styles mesh, coupling across an indeterminate void of shortwave signal and electronic noise filtered against and through each other.

Media (tape loops, shortwave radio, electronics) is, as ever with this pair, meshed with message—embodiment uncertain, too quiet to be ‘noise’; though pitch is elusive, slivers of melody wisp up in mercurial plumes beneath a bit-crushed brume. “Divertissement I” lets a low-end plasma miasma and spectral chorales diffuse in an eerie fug of microtone drone and tessellated tone, some insectoid static traversing the soundfield somewhere towards dénouement to a cryptic end. “Divertissement II” sets out more forward, windier wisps amplified, a choir-esque expanse, then reined in to a more nuanced passage. A murmuration of half-life harmonies ghosts through a welter of electronic dissonance, with distorted radio transmission and helicopter blades a noisy adjunct, fading to dark. Bleakness abounds on this the best of the brace—a piece of great depth and diversity.

Divertissement evokes an arcane atmosphere, spiriting centuries of history from the vaults of a reverberant cathedral in a long-form drift from lowercase liminality and sepulchral ambience to steepling majesty.

Divertissement is available on Important.

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