Contemporary music from everywhere

(ph)authers – (ph)authers

(ph)authersOur introduction to this duo from Guelph, Ontario came last month, on a Polar Seas Recordings compilation entitled A Light, A Glimmer. They were in good company. The 22-track collection – the proceeds of which go to Wishing Well Sanctuary for animals – features James A. McDermid, Celer, anthéne, Valiska, North Atlantic Drift and others.

The two new pieces that make up their self-titled debut feature guitars, synthesizers, samples and field recordings. jones and H’57 are off to a sparkling start.

“Precious Dregs” opens the 26-minute cassette release with a pair of rapid-fire lazer beam blasts, followed by a variety of disconnected drones, sirens and ambient noise. It all serves as a kind of overture to the less cluttered soundscape that follows.

It would be an overstatement to describe (ph)authers’ work as minimalist. It’s not dense either. As is often the case with successful sound art, these two strike a balance with their work. There is enough variety to engage listeners, but there is plenty of room to breathe.

Every element is carefully chosen. No one sound crowds out the other.

“Beneath The Tide” follows. Not surprisingly, it opens with the sound of waves crashing, and then a distant drone. Again, the piece illustrates (ph)authers’ ability to deliver lush pacing and a sense of spaciousness.

Presumably this comes from years of careful listening to the genre’s most accomplished artists. Based on what we’ve heard from them this summer, they have extraordinary potential.

Kevin Press

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