Basement Classics – Very Slow Music
In a world dominated by hard and fast disposable pop music, Basement Classics’ Very Slow Music is a refreshing break from the norm.
A great many people will be unfamiliar with the more experimental, avant-garde realm. It’s a shame, because by spending some time listening to La Monte Young, Eleh, or Eliane Radigue the ears and the mind are opened somewhat. I think it also helps, for me at least, to rekindle a love of all genres (including throwaway pop music).
What makes Very Slow Music all the more exotic is the use of source material – Henry Purcell’s ‘Cease O My Sad Soul’ as the inspiration for the first track, and Bach’s ‘Ich will dich mit fleiss bewahren’ – placed impossibly slowly and creating a glorious wash of tone that both complements and competes.
‘Cease O My Sad Soul’ sounds at times like a dirge, in a good way, it wouldn’t be out of place at the end of a funeral. There’s something heartwarming about the way this kind of music can feel so life-affirming. When the higher tones appear, they come as a surprise but they don’t outstay their welcome and wander away in a timely fashion.
The slightly shorter ‘Ich will dich mit fleiss bewahren’ begins sounding not unlike the opening track on Sigur Ros’s gorgeous untitled album, but builds into a rolling, layered track. Bassy in parts, it is a piece which teases the listener to remain engaged, constantly satisfying the ears with gradual shifts and changes.
Very Slow Music is a wonderfully obscure, challenging recording that with a little time and attention has the potential for the lister to glean great things.