Friday, 13 November 2015

Colin Potter - Rank Sonata (Hallow Ground)

I'm not keen on long tracks, unless they're by Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band...or Miles Davis' electric outfits...or Pierre Henry...or Stockhausen...or Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza...or...OK, so I am keen if they're good, but they're rarely good, these days; like most ambient stuff, the sonic equivalent of someone waffling on in the pub for ages and saying nothing...quietly...

So here's Colin Potter, starting Rank Sonata with A Wider Pale Of Shale, which is 19mins 40secs long...oh no! Oh yes. And I like it....I like it despite the regular beat. Regular beats driving long tracks usually annoy the hell out of me, signalling, as they frequently do, that some Techno bod's got a big idea, one far above his station, so he's called it Quantum Theory Of Nothingness, added strings and, er, that's it. Colin Potter's better than that. He's got ideas, probably loads since knocking around on the independent electronic music scene since the early 80s...working with Nurse With Wound, Organum and Current 93 along with others. It's not that A Wider Pale Of Shale pushes boundaries or consists of complex ever-changing simply works...and elements do evolve and change, but not dramatically...motorik? - whatever, it moves, takes you along with it until it swoops onto another plain about halfway through, which is beatless but hardly calming, getting more distressed until the beat comes back...

...track 3 is Knit Where? Geddit? He's not joking, though...fabulous atmosphere to this...the hiss and crackle, a stuck needle, perhaps...the distant, foreboding synth, but more interestingly, what whips and rattles across the forefront...finally, Beyond The Pail, doing what Kraftwerk's Metal on Metal did for Trans-Europe Express, sort of, but instead of stripped Klang funk, intensifying, making it heavier. Without trying to sound 'modern' and having been around so long, it's a miracle that Potter avoided offering something stale. Rank Sonata certainly is not that.

Hallow Ground

You can have a listen and buy it here

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