Tomas Phillips – Six Notes – 8cmCDR – Koyuki sound

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



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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