Christopher Bissonnette - Periphery
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Christopher Bissonnette

Periphery is an album created out of piano and orchestral sounds, yet one might never know it listening to the release. Christopher Bisonnette has developed a system using filtered samples of the aforementioned sounds, and creates his pieces in long, improvised sections with random variables affecting the audio patches and a human touch guiding it all. The result is music that fits almost perfectly with the title of the album, as sounds that are familiar to the ear drift and float and flutter and almost seem to blur time itself. In other words, you're hearing just fragments of the larger whole, but Bisonnette turns these pieces into something compelling and engrossing on their own.

Bisonnette is the co-founder of a media collective called Thinkbox, and he's been working with sound experiments for a long time, ranging from spoken word to turntable experiments, but Periphery finds him entering atmospheric realms inhabited by others such as labelmates Stars Of The Lid and even Wolfgang Voigt (imagine his Gas project minus the programmed beats and you're somewhat close to the cloudy worlds that Bisonnette inhabits).

The tracks on Periphery move at a glacial pace, and like any really truly good ambient music, sound great at either low or really loud volumes. Opening track "In Accordance" drips in reverb as single piano notes tremble through whispy clouds of space, occasionally stuttering and glitching before being overwhelmed by their own sustained tones. "Proportions In Motion" feels slightly more oppressive (think Deathprod on a good day) as sheets of darker, hazy sound slide across each other like clouds before a storm.

Although the pieces on the album are fairly uniform in their presentation, there are a couple that stick out, and "Substrata" is one of them, as trembling strings create a real palpable tension before releasing it bit by bit with stuttering bursts that keep you holding your breath. With seven tracks that run nearly an hour in length, Periphery is an immersive, beautiful ambient release from a young artist I can't wait to hear more from.

rating: 810
Aaron Coleman 2005-10-13 20:23:35