Monday, February 7, 2011

Terence Hannum - La Repitition [Peasant Magik]

Philly label Peasant Magik dropped an insanely big batch of tapes, 15 to be exact (is there a larger batch on record anywhere?) and I'm very slowly working my through them, with a number of heavy hitters still on deck. This solo release by Locrian's Terence Hannum marks the second tape in the batch with some French cinema inspiration (I wrote up the other one here.)
I haven't seen La Repitition (directed by Bertrand Duma) so I have no frame of reference for this cassette but apparently Hannum has composed a soundtrack to the film. Eight pieces for guitar and accordion are spread out evenly across the two sides. The first side "I-IV" has an effortless flow to it but slight undertones of melancholy and decay. Both the guitar and accordion are smeared together, so unified they're nearly inseparable at times. After the first piece streaks the sky grey, the second (or possibly third) movement finds a guitar in a duet with silence, inching forth a note at a time. Hannum gradually introduces other sounds and melodies which curl around the edges, never breaking the concentration of the central guitar's three note meditation.
The fifth piece that opens up the second side "V-VIII" is quite pretty, made up of alternately looming and luminous accordion tones which eventually becomes susceptible to waves of rushing static. Rolling guitar drones materialize at some point prodding the piece in a more musical direction with spiraling guitar tones embedded in the fuzz. The movements are so fluid, I never notice any marked changes. The side just seems to tumble on by, moving forth, capturing your attention and consequently receding back into the tape hiss before you even realize it.
La Repitition is resigned, forlorn, desolate and empty. Don't know what the movie's about but I'll be surprised if it's a comedy. I think fans of Locrian would definitely enjoy this but Hannum's work here is pretty fragmentary and evocative, a little different than the metal formalism that Locrian is currently interested in. It is fun to hear what other kinds of sounds Hannum has going on up there in his noggin.
The tape is dressed with the utmost professionalism and care as is customary with Peasant Magik. This tape is still in print at the label along with plenty of other great ones so take a gander.

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