K Leimer — Degraded Certainties
(Palace of Lights PoL 01 | 2010, 2010, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2011-06-01Kerry Leimer's newest work delves deeply into the process side of ambient fabrications. Here, he gathers source elements that include strings, bells, and percussive sounds, and then runs them through signal reprocessing to arrive at a collection of tones or elements, which he then arranges and layers — randomly or not — into distinct soundscapes (each curiously at or near 12 minutes). The timbres shift from one piece to another, "Allotropy" studying intertwining violin tones, for example, while naturally occurring sounds populate the meditative "Hommage." But Leimer takes each track beyond mere ambiance by mixing in contrasting tones and textures — sometimes bordering on distortion — that makes each a fertile study in audio dynamics, despite everything staying within a fairly constricted volume parameter. For the most part he operates somewhere between ambient and minimalism on this album. For example, on "Common Nocturne" an elegant piano creates a solemn and placid sound field with widely spaced notes and chords hovering over residual harmonics and underlying tonal ambience. And on "French Opera" plucked strings are spaced out rhythmically with an almost clockwork regularity while a rolling wave of harmonics ebb and flow around them. The recordings are crystal clear with nothing to mar the pristine aural vistas, though some may find there's a bit too much activity within these pieces for them to work as a background for meditation. But for my money a little mental stimulant is the best catalyst for inner awareness.
Related artist(s): K Leimer / Savant
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more