K Leimer — The Useless Lesson
(Palace of Lights PoL o7o1, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01
At first listen, it might seem like The Useless Lesson takes two paths, one of melodic avant-garde chamber explorations, and another of more spacious ambient territory, interleaved throughout the album, the odd tracks being the former and the even tracks the latter. Further close listens, however, reveal a lot more secrets between the grooves, clues, and keys that offer clear evidence that all seven tracks are indeed part of the same dream sequence, linked together like a cinematic continuum that has a unifying theme. Using layered keyboards, guitar feedback, occasional muted percussion, strings (violin, cello, or excellent samples thereof), and sound processing, the composer seems to strike a theme of solitude and introspection, with an evolutionary guiding spirit that directs and guides the listener through portals from one section to the next. Titles may offer clues, but to this listener they have only further obscured what the concept might be, although it matters not – the music speaks for itself. The overall subtlety and delicacy of the carefully layered sounds that comprise each section are at times wondrous and beautiful, yet never pretty, and at other times paralyzing, haunting and transfixing. Each repeat listen reveals something new that hasn’t been apparent before, even after several dozen spins. Overall, a very satisfying listen on any number of different levels.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more