Along These Lines
Limited to a short-run of only 200 copies this is Steve Barsotti at his most minimal and intimate. The Seattle-based composer has dreamt up some extremely subtle music as heard on the breezy effort Boundaries. Snail-paced, poker-faced, it plays on something suspicious lurking behind a door, something lifelike gently squirming, perhaps inebriated. Barsotti appropriates instruments to build new tools that scope, draw wind and stretch his soundscapes, often built on field recordings. The manipulation of tartly clomping horse hooves is paired with the corroded zap of vintage LP grooves creating a timewarp on Bridges. The flare of highly amped strings, the repetition of strumming and fierce rummaging make for a fresh blend of mismatched sounds that somehow come together despite the lack of harmony. In fact, it is going in and out of a formula that makes this record stand out. On Terraces (which began as a collaboration with Perri Lynch) there are inflections of Maeror Tri and early Kapotte Muziek. It’s dizzying, repetitious, filled with rough scuffs and percussive mishigas. We experience a close-up from the perspective of a lifeline, a breathing tube connected to a polluted city. It’s pretty dark stuff, and tough as nails! While the ambience throughout could quiet a beast, it is when the noisy activity flows into cacophony that turns this whole into bliss, where loose ends meet.