Robert Turman & Aaron Dilloway – Blizzard (Fabrica, June 2016)

A very recent reissue, but this is a glory of the recent past. It was only in 2009 that these two furious gentlemen – Aaron Dilloway of Wolf Eyes fame and Robert Turman, godfather to us all at least since the early days of NON – got together for an evening during an extreme snowstorm in Ohio over at Turman’s. To be more precise, the story goes that Dilloway was about to move house and state, so his place was cold and empty; he made his way to Turman’s for some sort of spiritual if not meteorological shelter. That fateful white tempest blew into the lungs of the deepest darkest and most sophisticated record.

Originally released by Hanson but on CD only, Blizzard is the anti-summer. Four tracks, between 7 and 15 minutes, each one a stretched out, neverendingly opaque unravelling of a single pace, a single drone, a set of sparse sonic elements. Only three or four sounds per track provide the base for a number of ever-so-slight delays, micro-variations in thickness and volume, changes in texture. Repetitive, bleak, almost animal in its slowness, everything on this album conspires towards a concentrated and immobile tension, impossibly droney but very present, almost melodic. Sounds shoot through, at times, like darts – a gathering of wind, a tornado, intergalactic noise, the echo of some creature, the cut-through of a shard of white laser, a suspicion, a threat, a fear, a strobe in the dust, under an unforgivingly heavy sky. This is a record that creates an absolute stillness in the listener. Truly extraordinary.