Peter Wright


(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Desolation Beauty Violence (2004), 6.5/10
At Last New Dawn (2007), 6/10
Pretty Mushroom Clouds (2008), 6/10
Snow Blind (2009), 6/10
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New Zealand's guitarist Peter Wright used field recordings and acoustic instruments to manufacture the oneiric dronescapes of Distant Bombs (Apoplexy, 2002 - Last Visible Dog, 2004), The Broken Kawai (Pseudoarcana, 2003), and the 70-minute piece of Transfusion (Last Visible Dog, 2002).

Desolation Beauty Violence (Foxglove, 2004 - Ikuisuus, 2005) is de facto a philosophical meditation that uses the language of static sounds. Above Lewis Pass mixes tender electronic pattern and dissonant found noise to secrete a majestic drone that evokes a superhuman horizon. The static vibration of Adrift At 30,000 Ft is actually a multi-faceted experience that arises from a multitude of ghostly entities to evoke infinite emptiness. The manipulated voices of Kashmir compose a slowly decaying mural of frantic human life that eventually reveals its rotting fabric. The 19-minute Evening At Ben Ohau emerges slowly from a sideral mist, a fragile "om" at the center of a mighty galaxy, a uniform pulsing radiation that permeates spacetime. The feeble Leaving Town feels like a sleepy guitarist strumming a country tune to the moon.

The came Yellow Horizon (PseudoArcana, 2005), including the the 13-minute Offa's Dyke and the nine-minute minimalist piece Bannockburn, and Red Lion (2006).

The double-disc At Last New Dawn (2007) stood as a compendium of the techniques that he had absorbed until that day. Natural sounds are prominent at the beginning of Urban Wolves but then they disappear in a vortex of metallic and airplane-like drones. One can tell how sophisticated Wright's mixing art has become by the way that different drones coexist in the same orbit. Another droning mass, The Whole Facade Will Come Crumbling Down, is another exercise in decay like Kashmir, as the wall of noise slowly decomposes into natural and found sounds.
Wright is less successful when he goes for a cinematic experience. The noise of people processed in Death Ships Approaching becomes a sinister hissing crescendo reminiscent of sci-fi soundtracks. The distorted mass that emerges from the languid tones of Punishment Drugs represents his version of the "psychedelic freak-out". Both sacrifice depth for evolution with mixed results.
The album also ventures off the beaten track of droning compositions. The 18-minute The Big Fight is the most ambitious experiment because it begins with a random accumulation of tones (possibly from musical instruments). They get stretched and amplified until they form a gargantuan cacophony, a symphony of incoherent signs. The 34-minute At Last New Dawn begins in an equally unstable mode but then the diverse parts coalesce in a majestic drone. A sitar-like source pens the equivalent of a soaring cosmic hymn on top of this colossal drone and eventually the two merge into a deafening wall of distortion.

Pretty Mushroom Clouds (aRCHIVE, 2008) seems to focus more on transformation than exploration. Submerged In Ice/(Broadway Approx 6PM) is the morphing of a booming drone until it gives birth to ordinary traffic. Ash follows a mediocre drone as it self-destroys. Blisters (possibly the best one) is all movement, collision and surprise, the closest Wright ever got to a collage form. However the most impressive achievement comes with the 24-minute The Devil Wears Sunroof, a sharp drilling ear-splitting drone that does mutate but only in timbre, not quite in dynamics. By the end it feels like a Jimi Hendrix solo.

The three-disc set Pariahs Sing Om (Last Visible Dog, 2006) compiles Duna (Last Visible Dog, 2000), A Tiny Camp In The Wilderness (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, 2001), Pariahs Sing Om (Apoplexy, 2003), with Esoteria and the 13-minute Pariahs Sing Om, and Catch A Spear As It Flies (Celebrate PSI Phenomenon, 2002), one of his best, containing the 25-minute The Bride Stripped Bare.

The double-disc Snow Blind (Install, 2009) juxtaposed different ambient techniques and moodscapes. The Drunken Master In His Crumbling Citadel surrounds a voice with distorted drones that by the end display an almost melodic counterpoint. It is Apakura, that begins in the most tortured of manners, to deliver one of the rare soothing (almost new-age) atmospheres in Wright's repertory. The 21-minute The Distopian National Anthem starts out with tinkling bells and a soft murmur, and then meanders in search of the perfect timbre. The 15-minute With Teeth Like That You Can't Help But Succeed is an avalanche of loud noises leeft to battle each other in utter chaos. To compensate for the self-indulging tendency of some of these pieces, the 25-minute Truth Serum is a satori of agonizing drones and jarring drones, one of his most intense works.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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