Friday, June 26, 2009

Burning Star Core - Challenger (2008)

There is a lot of shitty drone and noise and ambient and what the fuck have you out there. So much so that anyone substantially interested in any of these musical inclinations with a decent sense of quality control could be driven fucking mad by it. Here's the perfect album of the last 10 years to sum it all up.

C. Spencer Yeh plays a mean fucking violin. He also travels all around the world and plays with all kinds of people who constantly push the boundaries of his musical compulsions. As a result, he consistently kicks out some of the most surprising and engaging records (whether under his name or the BXC moniker) imaginable. Challenger fits into this paradigm perfectly, and his collaborations with John Wiese and Lausse Marhaug are clearly launching points for this record.

The easiest way to introduce this record is that it feels like old sci-fi/horror soundtracks... The first film that came to mind is the German masterpiece "Eyes Without a Face." Something about the simple musical ideas that crescendo and then fall off abruptly (in almost every track on the album) reminds me of the horror films that were inspired by cinema fantastique. At any rate, each succinct musical idea somehow manages to inform the entire album. There is no strict evolution or narrative over the course of the eight tracks, but they all seems to grow and take shape independent of each other, even after they've stopped playing.


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