Sans Serif – Tones For La Monte – CDR – Hypnos

I’m constantly blessed with surprise packages that drop through my letter box, particularly from labels whose work I haven’t yet experienced, and whose artists I do not know. Hypnos is one such label, and they had the good grace to send along one or two of their fine releases for my perusal. Sans Serif is the adopted name of one Forrest Fang, a composer whose work here celebrates and emulates the late great La Monte Young. Young’s influence has been expounded my many an ersthwile minimalist composer, and here, Fang indeed does justice to his memory.

With releases and collaborations under his own name, particularly on the recent Gongland album, Fang explores more classical territory. Under the Sans Serif moniker, the work is overtly minimal and long form, combining elements of classicism, with digital composition. On Tones for La Monte, Fang deploys combinations of sustained tones and chords, wispy, evaporations and distillations, charged atmospheres that reduce the formations into pure essence. These are wonderfully executed pieces, not unlike Keith Berry, or Thomas Koner, but with the composer’s own signature, encapsulating the sounds in endless reverb, watercolour splinters, and rich tonal bass. These works are entitled to evoke either Greek numerology, or brain states..Alpha, Omega, Delta..etc..not entirely original, but if relating to brain states, then entirely appropriate, as each piece emerges through translucent planes, revealing as much about the nuances of the instrumentation as about the composers’ intentions. Here, strings are grazed, tones are warm, rich, and resonant, the atmospheres serene and enchanting. Here is a CD that I will almost certainly be re-visiting many times, and I cannot recommend it too highly..fine stuff indeed. BGN

About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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