AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Wilfried Hanrath & Boban Ristevski – Be Here Now (Attenuation Circuit)

For the Western flower-power generation, Be Here Now was the seminal introduction to Eastern spirituality, penned by a former Harvard professor of psychology and dabbler in psychoactive drugs who, after an extended stay India, came home as guru Ram Dass. In naming their new album after the book, two prolific artists signal their continued interest in marrying music to spiritual philosophy, as evidenced by their impressive respective discographies. German artist Wilfried Hanrath identifies himself as a “freestyle, non-genre composer,” which might also be said of Macedonian Boban Ristevski, who also records as Lefterna and who perhaps can be said to tend toward ambient drone. The first and third tracks serve as intriguing bookends to a massive central tour-de-force. The former breathes deeply within some echoey thoracic cave over a background of busy carpentry, while the latter chronicles a machine struggling against the dying of the light to squeeze out one last spooky tune. But it is that middle track, a near thirty-six minute epos, that sweeps you up. A minimalist drone masterpiece, it filters air that while somewhat grim and grimy is also awesome and boundless. For this one, do as Ram Dass advised: “Just relax and enjoy the process.” It certainly focuses the mind’s ear on the here and now.

Stephen Fruitman