William Basinski – Nocturnes


This is the sort of record that I hate. One that is pitifully low on musical ideas (sample the first 10 minutes of “Nocturnes” and the last 10 minutes of “The Trail of Tears” and you’ve heard everything this 70-minute album has to offer); one that reeks of laziness (check out that transition between the two tracks, as if to say “The Trail of Tears” was tacked on – oh wait, it was!); one that, if it were released by anyone without a household name then no one would care (case-in-point: Basinski sat on this for 35 years); one that inspires people to come up with stuff like “by eternalizing and internalizing the ephemeral present, Basinski has created a macro documentation of the infinitely micro” which makes me wonder why Pitchfork’s reviews get so much flak.

It’s not that I’m not the biggest fan of ambient music; it’s more to do with the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of having my time wasted. Later that same year, Tim Hecker – who’s about twice the man Basinski is in terms of music and penis size – released a song called “Black Refraction” that does everything “Nocturne” here does and more, in less than 4 minutes instead of over 40.



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