29 October 2012
Disquiet is the debut album of American composer, sound recordist and engineer Paul Corley.
Disquiet is music that never settles. Music that makes the listener fiercely attentive to the present, to the very idea of listening. It takes some doing, and some patience, to produce an atmosphere so unearthly and yet so radiant, to organize fragmented - sometimes found - sounds into such sparse, sustained and spiritual coherence. As we listen to Corley listening to himself listen and seek a fixed genre point for this music, we perhaps rub together glitch, drone, sound art, post rock and alt-classical, and an as yet unspecified genre called ‘hazard a guess’, and then employ our own discretion.
Although Disquiet is Paul Corley’s first album on Bedroom Community, he is no stranger to the label. Having collaborated extensively with the Bedroom Community collective since 2007, the label is proud to add Corley to the intimate roster that now comprises of seven highly original artists. Disquiet is a welcome addition to the catalogue; at the same time an album of delicate, primal (prepared) piano variations, a sequence of exquisitely reflective slow songs, and a metaphysical field recording where resonances are set off by real and imaginary geographical features. The album seems to be the recording of a dream, not necessarily Corley’s own, as if he slipped into the mind of someone asleep and calmly set up his equipment. Disquiet suggests a walk through an icy wasteland under a darkening sky, with unspecified creatures lurking at the edge of vision, a drifting walk that ends in the shadows of a vaguely familiar deserted city. Some might discern in the distance the footsteps of Morton Feldman who has once passed nearby or is about to, or might spot some wires discarded by Chris Watson and a question or two written into the sand by Anton Webern.
When asked whether this is music representing something coming into being - a growing in confidence or something dissolving into deep, equivocal quiet beyond which there is only space - the answer is simple, yet complex. “Both at the same time,” Corley replies - somewhere between hazarding a guess, and knowing for sure.
What the press says
Wintry melodies, prepared piano and subtle electronics are at the heart of Corley’s sound.
Beautifully compelling debut release by a real find…It treads a very fine line between neo-classical (de)composition and
metaphysical field recordings that so many have tried yet failed to capture so delicately as this.
Glitchy electronics revolve around heavily processed guitar figures; deft piano chords underpin spacious landscapes of found sounds to conjure images of a haunted, vacant world.
Corley shows himself to be a masterful sculptor of sound, someone capable of shaping myriad fragments into meaningful wholes of dramatic import…nothing short of remarkable.
Eerily sumptuous, Disquiet is a very strong and listenable debut containing both obvious surface musicality and a wealth of microcosmic activity lurking in the periphery.
The attention to detail and the rich, atmospheric textures help to smoothen out the contrasting squeaks and shivers, until the music enjoys a near-perfect state of equilibrium that is very difficult to conjure.
“...a masterpiece, sparse and unadorned without ever being austere, a chillingly-beautiful set of instrumental meditations.”
Released on 5 November 2012
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