fri 30/10/2020

CD: A Winged Victory For The Sullen - A Winged Victory For The Sullen | reviews, news & interviews

CD: A Winged Victory For The Sullen - A Winged Victory For The Sullen

CD: A Winged Victory For The Sullen - A Winged Victory For The Sullen

Orchestrated minimalism that's suffused in melancholy

A Winged Victory For The Sullen: music for becalmed oceans

Strings waft in, then coalesce like banks of fog. A piano picks out single notes. Space is left between them. With no immediate rhythmic patterns, the minimalist A Winged Victory For The Sullen make music for becalmed oceans. This collaboration between Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran could have come form the deck of the Marie Celeste.

Strings waft in, then coalesce like banks of fog. A piano picks out single notes. Space is left between them. With no immediate rhythmic patterns, the minimalist A Winged Victory For The Sullen make music for becalmed oceans. This collaboration between Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran could have come form the deck of the Marie Celeste.

There’s quite a lot of this around right now. Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick Nils Frahm, Hauschka, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Nico Muhly and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood complement each other, creating minimalist pieces that draw on modern classicism. Varying degrees of electronica figure in the palette. With the exception of Americans Muhly and Denmark/Germany-dwelling Broderick, these are all northern Europeans. Fellow Americans, Wiltzie and O’Halloran are Euro-philes. O’Halloran lives in Berlin, and A Winged Victory For The Sullen was mostly recorded at the city’s Grunewald Church and the former DDR radio studios.

With the Austin, Texas-based Stars Of The Lid, Wiltzie has pursued an ambient minimalism since the early Nineties, gradually incorporating strings. He’s also handled live sound for Hauschka and Jóhannsson. O’Halloran’s compositions have been heard on the soundtracks of Marie Antoinette and An American Affair. As a performer, he records for Hauschka and Jóhannsson’s label, Fat Cat. A Winged Victory For The Sullen is issued by Erased Tapes, whose roster also includes Arnalds, Frahm and Broderick. The latter contributes violin here. It’s a scene, and equally definitely international and entangled.

Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkhous, who died in 2010, is an unseen presence though. Wiltzie worked with him live, and “Requiem For The Static King Part One” was written for Linkhous. This sombre, stately album casts a grey pall. Drawing you in by degrees, it invites reflection.

Listen to A Winged Victory For The Sullen's “Requiem For The Static King Part One”

This sombre, stately album casts a grey pall. It invites reflection

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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