13 Drones by James Potter (Review)

This disk will fit nicely next to that E.A.R. record you own (or should).
13 Drones - James Potter

This disk brings me back to a day that in all honesty, I probably wasn’t yet born for. I still say “back to a day” though, because this day is still kept alive by the fact that the type of music made by one man and his many musical machines is hardly extinct.

See, there was once a day when ambient music, space rock, and synthesizer music all pretty much ate from the same table, and so did most of their respective listeners. Nowadays, the psych buffet is more segmented than African aquatic centipedes. There’s drone, kraut, neo-kraut, garage-psych, post-rock, illbient, ambient, space, power noise, electro-ambient, fuh, fuh, fuh…

While the music on this disk is indeed droney, and other instruments pop up occassionally, I think its best described as a unrepentant synth record. Now, while I may prefer amorphous sounds to come from a geetar with a bunch of effects, I have also definitely come to appreciate the beauty of a box with many a wire leading out of it. Without such things, there’s no Rick Wright’s “turkish delights” in Pink Floyd, there’s no Autechre, no Sonic Boom, and there’s no Vangelis to assail my ears as a third grader, setting me on a permanent course for love of all things trippy and flatted of scale.

All the things one generally likes in synths are here on this record — long, sustained tones, super-modulated sounds, etc. I guess what really describes these sort of things best though, are words that don’t exist. Like “globbering” “veeeeooow” “zzzzyyooohrrw.” If you got into the head music of today through a chain of events that’s something like Smashing Pumpkins-to-My Bloody Valentine-to Flying Saucer Attack, you may need things to rock a bit harder than this disk can. If, however, you came into knowledge of “the drone” some other way, or your ears grew in potential through continued exposure, then this disk will fit nicely next to that E.A.R. record you own (or should).

Written by Pearson Greer.

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