Thursday, April 7, 2016

Recording: North Atlantic Drift

Artist: North Atlantic Drift

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Array Space (Wavelength 696: Don't Speak), March 25, 2016.

North Atlantic Drift - unknown

An interesting, if not completely successful, experiment socially-engineered by WL's Adam Bradley, this performance came with a prohibition against verbal communication not only during but in between the evening's sets. While that's appreciated as a means of enjoying the music without interruption, it actually felt rather oppressive when the musicians weren't playing — and, truth be told, rather than trying to muck about with the supplied cards and pencils for written communication, I simply withdrew into the company of my phone and felt rather isolated in a way that I could be any time at home. Far more discomfiting was the decision to not offer chairs, leaving a room of people milling about on their feet while absorbing some slowly-unfurling ambient music. I guess from my perspective, the thing that threw me off the most about this gig is that I find myself hanging out at Array Space fairly often, and to me it's the sort of place where no top-down rules are required to enjoy music in comfort and silence — adding the formal gimmick was just too much inorganic chemistry.

I was definitely glad to have a chance to hear this duo performing in a less casual environment than I had previously caught 'em in. With General Choas' swirling textures on two walls behind them, Brad Deschamps and Mike Abercrombie came the closest to employing traditional song-structures, their set broken into three pieces or suites, each with their own internal sonic resolution. This final, and longest, piece is quite pleasingly glacial in its development.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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