Alternative music reviews

January 22, 2008

Failure Of The Grand Design by The Resonance Association

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The Resonance AssociationDaniel Vincent (who I know well from Karma Pilot and Onion Jack) joins forces with Dominic Hemy in a venture called The Resonance Association. They have already produced about 6 free EPs (most are the length of an album). Their first official release is a 55 minute album called Failure Of The Grand Design. This is an instrumental album, with distorted guitars, drum machines, synthsisers, and any other object that can squeak or squelch.

I seem to have narrowed my musical taste over the years and devoted myself to the guitars and voice type of band. Back in the 70’s and 80’s I liked a lot of instrumental music such as Stockhausen, Xenakis, Berio, Faust, and This Heat. Over time I think instrumental music lost its ability to draw out an emotional response from me – unlike the song which has the luxury of lyrics. But now I have found an album without words that speaks to me. It is darkly atmospheric and moves between sparse electronics to driving guitars. But this is no traditional Post Rock build to crescendo – instead it is a development of earlier Psychedelia and Krautrock.

In the introductory stasis of The Darkening Storm, you understand you are in for a nerve-wrenching next 50 minutes. On Left Hemisphere The Resonance Association introduce the guitars and begin to ramp up the noise. I can’t believe this is a nine minute track because there is not a note or sound wasted. On it goes, dragging you down into into its own paranoia and throwing you out into moments like Electrolyte that are like injections of Adrenalin. The final resolution proclaims the Disintegration Of The Grand Design but this is no failure – it is as perfect an exposition of music to evoke your imagination as you could ever hope to hear.

The music is both unsettling and inspiring in turn. One thing I’ve found is that it should be played late at night as the final album to finish off the day. Quite honestly there is nothing that can follow it, even if it threatens to produce a night of twisted dreams. This is the best and most intense album released in 2007.

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Left Hemisphere (clip)

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Electrolyte (clip)

The Resonance Association.

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