At some point tonight, unbeknownst to me, it became incredibly windy and cold, perfectly suited to a very lifeless Iowa January. I picked up two bottles of beer from one of the finest beer establishments in the world and threw on a record suited for a night such as this. Somehow this is a winter record for me. I don’t when I first actually encountered it, but it has a starkness to it, not unlike thin winter air. Sound travels further in the winter, things sound different when it’s very cold outside, unmuddied?
This recording was released nearly ten years ago (2004) and is comprised of recordings made in the ten years prior to that, when Whitman was quite young. Much of the naivete shines through like a cocksure beacon, but he still shows patience and restraint. My favorite part of this record is sparseness present in the repetition. It is a disjointed effort, but in the best possible way, with tracks ranging from feedback laden drones (Twin Guitar Rhodes Viola Drone – (For La Monte Young)) to musique concrète (Obelisk (For Kurt Schwitters)), to a less experimental later track (Schnee, from 2002.) This is a go to record for me, one that I’ve rediscovered many times over and that offers constant surprise.
The Draeckenier compliments it nicely, it’s just bitter enough, but with hints of sweetness as a reward. It’s also tastes lighter to me, and is heavy on the sediment. This beer fades perfectly into an early January morning. The only part I would find incompatible with the record is the label. I’d say dadaist (help me I’m not well versed in art history) it may fit better with an early Pere Ubu album. That said, I’m not claiming to have enough knowledge of beer or music to offer an expert’s insight and this blog is not intended to offer such an opinion, and the contrast, on such a meditative night, seems oddly fitting.
On a related note, Whitman runs an online record shop, http://www.mimaroglumusicsales.com/, which is the closest thing I’ve experienced online to walking down to your local record store and spending an afternoon flipping through the racks.