AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: claire rousay – loose ends (2021; Catalytic Sound)

Some musicians color within the lines and others do not. Some, claire rousay being one, stay well outside the lines while implicitly questioning why lines exist at all. Her combination of percussion, electronics, and field recordings on loose ends is quintessential lockdown music – lo-fi, improvised, unstructured, and with a sense of loneliness.

The album consists of three shorter pieces (ending 1, ending 2, and ending 3) as well as the 15-minute loose. The ending tracks involve what sounds like a combination of drum kit instruments and found-object percussion processed through a white-noise filter of varying intensity. Rather than just hitting, she also scapes, rubs, and drops these objects. As these pieces progress, the percussion takes on a more dominating role, with rousey’s busy-ness increasing, and the filtering fades. Other elements, such as liquids (or at least something resembling liquids) find their way into the mix here and there. The longer track is heavier on the field recordings, with ambient noises, background piano music, and hazy drones. The percussion is more sparse initially, but increasing in density. Despite this ramp-up, the piece has an overall sense of melancholy.

Like all of rousay’s work, loose ends is unconventional and squarely avant-garde. It is also immediate, documenting her thinking and feeling at a point in time. Well done.

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