William Fowler Collins – Field Music

[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

Collins composes in the cinematic minimalist style, apparently few tones and modulations are used here and there, leaving space for the sound to develop on its own, growing on delay and reverb like an organism which absorbs the empty space around.

Collins takes the sound source (he’s a guitar player) only as a landmark, a sort of womb out of which his gracious skills work out to abort a droning melody of its own standards.

One must be a regular passionate for repetition and the means to take the beauty out of it. Sometimes his tunes are keeping a harassing economy of notes, like the rhythmical throbbing of “Field Music” and “How Horrible It Would Be” tracks; in exchange the generous “We Are Here To Help You” gives the tone for the major part of the record. The ambiances are ethereal, as the melody oscillates around a certain irradiating sound almost at the point of dissipating. Collins prefers cold colours, reflections of light on ice, the track “Contact Is A Mother” rather bears similarities to an Antarctica’s funeral, where the last traces of spring are buried by the reigning snow. Read alternatively, these sceneries hint at his American background, the seemingly devouring-all fields only hindered by the misty skies, vaporous overtures sung as dirges on breaking the illusion of Eldorado.

The record ends up in “They Wept Together”, which begins in a dramatically pulsating rhythm, although mechanical and blunt, cut off abruptly by a single beam of sound which soon changes shape, breaks into myriads of particles sprinkling about like tears of a weeping world.

Compare this record, “Field Music”, to “Bonds of Prosperity” his collaboration with Isis or Mamiffer guitarist, Aaron Turner, which they made under the Thalassa moniker. These are perhaps two main points in Collins’ discography, two albums that I see as a standpoint for the intersection between noise and music. Noise which becomes melody and melody turning into noise.

William Fowler CollinsField Music
LP/Digital 2018

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