/12 River

William Basinski

The River

Play William Basinski, The River on SoundCloud

“Growing up in the 70′s, with a love for the lush sound of the Mellotron, but not having the pocketbook to own one, I decided to try to create my own. I had heard that the sounds were recorded on tape loops, so I began recording small bits of lush strings from intros and interludes in muzak songs to use as my ›keys‹. The aspect of pulling all the sounds from the airwaves, to create something from nothing, fascinated me. With these elemental, organic loops that I had saved aside for The River, I was attempting to record ›the music of the spheres‹. The 90 minute length was dictated by the length of the two sides of the cassette. The idea was to have a piece which could repeat endlessly creating an eternal, meditative womb of tranquility.”

William Basinski

This is a highly anticipated release, as it brings more beautiful moments by the person who I believe has inherited the mantle of “king of ambient music”. Dating 1983, “The River” is a double CD consisting of two long suites, both based upon the superimposition of long loops of found sounds and shortwaves. Like in the previous -wonderful- “Disintegration loops”, Billy finds a simple way to bring the inner emotions out of us, still part of this cynical world. More than a river, I tend to link this sound with an image of myself watching a harbour immersed in the fog, standing far away and having few clues of what goes on – a boat call, a tidal wave, the quest for a communication that life itself makes more and more difficult to achieve. I love all the material but I must admit I have a slight preference for disc two, which in my opinion is a masterpiece for the years to come.

Massimo Ricci