Wim Dehaen – 12 Elegies For Pierre Boulez / Ústí OST

I recently discovered ACR while browsing Bandcamp for new listening material while I finish up my studies. Seki Takashi’s ‘Think’ was the album that drew my attention to the London-based cassette label, and I’m working my way through the rest of ACR’s discography when time allows for dedicated listening.

Yesterday, the label released Wim Dehaen’s ‘12 Elegies For Pierre Boulez / Ústí OST’. The Prague-based musician offers a sonic tribute to Pierre Boulez (pictured below) in the form of twelve short but detailed manipulations of existing Boulez pieces. Dehaen’s spectral processing of Boulez’s compositions retains that vastness and impact of the intended orchestral performance, and places it firmly within the reach of those craving new explorations of sound and texture within new experimental music. ‘PB03’ demonstrates the unsettling sensations that are achieved when the original and subtle source material is warped far beyond its original context; ‘PB05’ unearths both delicacy and dissonance seamlessly; and ‘PB12’ hits with the abruptness of a cinematic climax.

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The twelve elegies make up side A of the cassette, whilst side B is dedicated to the longer ‘Ústí OST’ – an original composition as an accompaniment for film (Ústí by Lukáš Janičík) that further demonstrates Dehaen’s ear for exploiting nuance and his exquisite production skills. The soundtrack is a wash of glassy, bright tones, more soothing than the fragments found on side A; despite the unexpected changes within an unconventional structure, ‘Ústí OST’ affords the listener more time to engage with an all-encompassing sound piece.

Having quickly reached Bandcamp’s top current ambient releases, Wim Dehaen’s ‘12 Elegies For Pierre Boulez / Ústí OST’ is out now on ACR, available on cassette in a limited edition of 50, and as a digital download.

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