Adrian Dziewanski – The Trail Loops Back

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

Should you ever have occasion to visit Vancouver, British Columbia make sure you include Stanley Park on your itinerary. Why’s this? Because there is a trail which cuts through the heart of it this release could easily form the soundtrack to. As you make your way deeper and deeper into the forest, the drones and natural found sounds Adrian employs depict it with an astonishing detail. Feel like that’s too much to put forth? Stay at home then and allow this album to transport you to this environment only don’t stray too far from the asphalt; the further into the trees you go the less likely it is that you’ll be finding your way back out again.

Murmurs of wildlife, the trickle of a stream which you can hear but not quite make out; above us we see the heaving branches as they sway to and fro during a rainstorm; this is only the first piece, for the second we’re taken out of these murky surroundings and brought into a golden burst of late afternoon sunlight. Indeed, I can easily place myself at the opposite end, looking out upon a massive harbor crammed to the shoreline by freighters. The breeze blows gently and I’m sitting on a bench watching the world go by without a cloud visible in the piercing azure sky.

A bit further down the embankment one can make out the approach of dusk as the reeds are rustled by the onset of evening, all the while Adrian’s masterful compositions imbue one’s consciousness with a sense of mystery; though the rest of the world is a minefield of noise and anger here we find only tranquility and a pursuit of solitude.

The air hangs heavily here, with the weight of memory anchoring it to the firmament of three dimensions so many of us cling to either unable or unwilling to let go of. Seeing beyond what is plainly visible is quite clearly what the objective is here, moving into the realms of cunning shadow play and transcendent inquisition; Adrian’s work isn’t for the mild mannered or those who require an end point in order to make smug conclusions, the emphasis is on the journey and how it affects you; unending vistas, limitless plateaus… time itself breaks down.

Coming away from what is contained on here, I can certainly piece together a narrative of sorts but each time I play this that narrative shifts. What was once plainly obvious becomes obscured if not outright overgrown by all of the connective threads intersecting and then dispersing towards vanishing points which are anything but static. This is a constantly evolving pair of compositions and that constant itself becomes subsumed by Dziewanski’s own penchant for popping in and out of the field recordings he bases ‘The Trail Loops Back’, peppering the proceedings with bits and pieces of what could almost be called harmonics.

Adrian DziewanskiThe Trail Loops Back
Alcohol Seed, alsd002 // Invisible Birds, ib012
CD/Digital 2018

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