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William Basinski brings listeners into the light

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William Basinski, "A Shadow in Time"
  • William Basinski, "A Shadow in Time"
On Sept. 11, 2001, New York ambient composer William Basinski was re-recording deteriorating analog tapes of earlier music when the twin towers fell a few blocks away. The resulting album, titled The Disintegration Loops, had a faraway, lonely sound, as though listeners were eavesdropping on World War I.

Now comes, A Shadow in Time, the composer’s latest effort, which consists of two 20-minute tracks. Against all odds, Basinski manages to recapture traces of those fading, distant sounds on an album that occupies a comparatively brighter space. “For David Robert Jones,” his eulogy to David Bowie, opens the album on a decidedly somber note. But by presenting it alongside the title track — with its hopeful, decidedly Eno-esque sheen — Basinski brings listeners out of grief and into the light.
File next to: Philip Glass, Brian Eno, Fennesz

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