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Bill Horist and Jakob Riis – The Cessation Elegy

Lava Thief

Bill Horist and Jakob Riis - The Cessation ElegyThis is an extraordinary piece of work, a wordless communion in caustic colours and sterling guitar playing. Its diverting textures are best appreciated through headphones, where they funnel-web your consciousness, cut through your head, jet between the ears in sweet diffusion; adventures you can taste, savour. Both participants are highly accomplished in their own right: Bill Horist seems to have collaborated with a whole host of esteemed musicians and follow improviser Jakob Riis‘ whims have been embraced whole-heartedly by the Nordic experimental scene. Together they form a formidable duo, where divisions between each become deliciously blurred and unfold beyond the sum of their parts. A synergy of open thresholds that make for plenty of replays.

Everything begins in the sparking fret work of “Wind, Tar to Baliene Flame,” lightly teased in reverberating electronics, a short track that quickly explodes in eye-opening abstraction, later eroded in tides of dronic noise. A taster of the ear joys that follow in the slowly-roasted claustrophobia of the second track “The Hidden Terms of Cessation’s Elegy.” A manifesto in tundra-dry drone kettles, giving out a layered tensile purr, rattling experientially, seismically smashed in a vast bassological grumble. An introspective vibe suddenly flung WIDE OPEN, as it grabs your attention in meaty dives of DOOM, tremors that tonally rot way in bouldering grains.

From here “Fibrillate – Wishes of the Last Twitch” holds you in a sawing Braille of scarred pickup and juggled data . A legion of burbling speed dials in a manic call centre, black’n’deckered in overdriven cordons and slash obliques. Its volatile natures finds an oasis in the rambling chords of “A Rakish Gasp,” with the guitar lightly whir-screwed in shivering processing, fireflies caught in the open strings, their wings later scatter-cuffing the instrument’s hollows, in a séance of taps and clicks. Rather beautiful tactiles that warm you up to the suitably esoteric “Who Mourns the Talus Dead?” where a wavering twilight drizzled in a slow ache of metallic colour is invaded by a swarm of gazoo rasping Moroccans and the odd snake charmer. A growing density in epileptic sycamores, rippling diaphragms stretched on a sweet ney expansion colluding brilliantly with tiny metal convulsions. Teasing elements overlapping, giving out shamanic vibes contrasting totally with the excellently entitled “Engines of Exposures Unborn,” an abrasive catalogue of a track, all tonal screech and bowed hacksaw,  a hungry landscape of noise rainbows in perished circuitry.

The last track, “A Certainty Drowned in the Channels of Memory,” eases you out of agitation in a ballerina of bowed ambiance. The pick-up dust vibrating with chemical purity on a hum of distant hives, aircraft, drone-trapped fruit and UFO strangeness as the pied piper leaps rifts in a raspberry-like chafe tapered into the flat line corona of silence.

A brief encounter that certainly holds plenty of magic.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

(Available to pre-order here.)

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