I am not often left either speechless, or so emotionally overwhelmed that words become meaningless after listening to a piece of music, yet Tomas Phillips has managed both manifestations for me on this, his debut release for Koyuki Sound. Phillips creates (In my opinion) one of the year’s finest long-form works in the form of Six Notes. In the truest and perhaps most impressive translation of minimalism, Phillips’ modus operandi is at once highly simplistic, yet so elegantly and perfectly structured that it reaches a level of refinement that has rarely been rivalled, a Donald Judd sculpture translated into sound.
Six Notes is intrinsically a sparse piano piece, with the instrument being stripped back to its barest components, and then intelligently deconstructed and subjected to nuanced treatments and deformations in much the same way that Noto and Sakamoto did on their Vrioon pieces, or perhaps Kirshner’s recent Filaments and Voids foray on 12k. As the piece goes on, it is infused with micro-particulates and sparkling textures, dark reverberations and captivating silences, a structure that is deeply engaging and emotionally uplifting, simultaneously serene and melancholic, this is something of a masterwork for Phillips, and makes for a milestone release for Koyuki’s ever expanding roster. For those cash-strapped souls amongst you, suffering from the effects of the global financial meltdown, spend your hard earned money on this release, if you buy no other. This has my very highest recommendation..BGN