Brendan Murray / Perispirit
(Razors and Medicine - R&M25) split LP $16.00
Brendan Murray’s “Birches and Marksman’s Graves (Voice and Computer #1),” a clear summation of his interest in controlled drones and gestural improvisation with a step into the unknown, transforms and manipulates the voice of Noell Dorsey to the point of non-recognition. Dissonant clusters move up and down, generate momentum, and maintain physicality and control. Vague hints of melody are swallowed up by turbulence. It gradually gives way to extended technique vocalisms that call to mind sound poetry and even the Sprechstimme of Schoenberg. Perispirit’s side makes quick sectional transitions and relies on harsh noise, delicate melodic work, and degraded lo-fi manipulations. Momentum grows and is quickly brought down to almost nothing; the process resumes and the piece breaks into looping guitar passages with a subtle electronic underpinning. Layers build and disappear. The noise returns, building to a heightened peak of frustration until it drops off, leaving the sound of life’s monotony. A wall of drone creeps in and overtakes all. Edition of 250, off-white vinyl.
(23five - 23FIVE013) CD $12.00 (Out-of-stock) (Out-of-print)
A central figure in Boston's sound art vanguard, Brendan Murray specifically shapes his repetitions and sinewy tonalities within the rigors of compositional frameworks and temporal restraints, setting himself apart from the conventional wisdom that drone-based music is an open-ended exercise into the "realm of the infinite." A single crescendo terminating at the end of 49 minutes, this epic investigates subtle harmonics and overtones expressed through layered slippages of pure sound conceived through guitar, analog synthesis, and plenty of digital manipulation. A worthy parallel to the work of Phill Niblock, Eliane Radigue, and Iannis Xenakis.
Wonders Never Cease
(Intransitive - INT027) CD $13.50
Big, beautiful, opiate drones by this Boston artist, vaguely in the same vein as Keith Fullerton Whitman, Birchville Cat Motel, Greg Davis, Jonathan Coleclough, but more melodic, assertive and rough than the stuff to which it seems similar. This is the first thing by Murray written to be a single statement (as opposed to a collection of tracks or quick experiments). It has a real epic quality that is pretty awesome.