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William Basinski


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William Basinski (Houston, 1958), a New York-based classically-trained clarinetist and saxophonist, specializes in compositions for loops and drones. He began experimenting with compositions for piano and tape that created a melancholy ambience via looped and overdubbed melodies with Variations - A Movement in Chrome Primitive (1980), released on Variations - A Movement in Chrome Primitive (Durtro, 2002 - Die Stadt, 2004), and A Red Score in Tile (1979), released on A Red Score in Tile (3 Poplars, 2003).

Shortwave Music (1982), some of which appear on Shortwave Music (Noton, 1998), processed and assembled snippets of radio broadcasts to produce atmospheres at the border between musique concrete and ambient music. The River (1983), collected on the double-disc The River (Noton, december 2002), was the most mature expression of “shortwave music”.

Melancholia (Durtro, 2003 - 2062, 2005) collects more loop-based vignettes from the 1980s, closer in feeling and scope to Erik Satie and Brian Eno.

During the 1980s, Basinski often played saxophone during multimedia performances, and was a member of the Gretchen Langheld Ensemble, which later evolved into House Afire. In 1989 he opened his own loft for the creative arts, nicknamed “Arcadia”. Throughout the 1990s he refined his song-cycle Hymns of Oblivion. In 1997, Basinski launched his performance-art act Beautifying America. He also formed the electronic ensemble Life On Mars. Basinski has also created videos and films, notably the “ambient film” Fountain (2000).


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  • FeatgaryTD

    Absolute madman

    2 Jul 5:24am Reply
  • edubbwitthevdub

    Cascade is my favorite track of the year. Unbelievable.

    18 Jun 9:04pm Reply
  • zzzzzzzzzsazzzz

    a sra fecha

    12 May 1:16pm Reply
  • bopapocalypse

    cascade is a fucking beast. right up there with el camino real.

    29 Apr 2:53am Reply
  • jessyrocker

    Love this Music

    24 Apr 12:51pm Reply
  • Tandeta_92

    But i like very much cover Williams Basinski - Manuel Zurria enjoin :)

    18 Apr 12:36am Reply
  • Tandeta_92

    maxson924@ You must listen Variation VII and this is sample to Cascade, but much faster and dreamer. Very good minimal and relaxing song. 40 min is like 4 min for me ^^.

    18 Apr 12:28am Reply
  • maxson924

    Cascade is reminding me a lot of The Garden of Brokenness and something else. Maybe Melancholia? This definitely doesn't break new ground but it's pleasant and I'd say it's a step up from Nocturnes.

    10 Apr 10:57pm Reply
  • Hallshaster

    Sir Sinski has his busy lips wrapped around every night-napping, no good, frizzled-out, chicken shit in Merph County and fucking kudos to him. If brains were birds, then that brother-in-law of mine (the slithering ninster) would be digging out his purple feelers with an old love-shovel.

    10 Apr 1:47am Reply
  • m1a100

    Cascade is magical. It's just 40 minutes, but fuck, it sounds like it's just 8 minutes. The loop makes me go back to listen to his "Chrome Primitive" loops again every midnight. Can't wait for its accompanying album, The Deluge.

    5 Apr 8:56pm Reply
  • deadairspace

    «Cascade» is amazing

    28 Mar 10:07pm Reply
  • shorty427

    Vivian & Ondine was the last really amazing piece he did. I enjoyed nocturnes but it definitely doesn't get as much play time as his other works. Cascade will hopefully grow on me, but it's definitely not my favorite right now

    27 Mar 8:50pm Reply
  • p_o_l_i_s_w_a_g

    at least this new one is far more palatable than the mediocrity of 'Nocturnes,' but bill still isn't breaking any new ground here. can't tell if i've outgrown basinski or if he's just not growing as an artist. I haven't really liked anything he did since 2009 :/

    27 Mar 3:58pm Reply
  • Jonas_Migas

    His Disintegration Loops series are so powerfull. It instantly soothes me as soon as I start to play one of his loops.

    15 Mar 7:54pm Reply
  • PP667


    10 Mar 5:50pm Reply
  • impronen

    Sound is music when it is contextualised as such. Found sounds are music like found items are art, when put on display. There can be different opinions on they're artistic value but art is purely mechanically descriptive term, not one that gives value. Art can be total waste of time or it very well may not be.

    19 Feb 4:55pm Reply
  • AsepticVoid

    Aseptic Void upcoming digi-CD Carnal is now almost ready to be manufactured at our pressing plant. Totally remastered, Carnal offers to the listeners a cinematic experience into Silent Hill-esque's ambiences. For fans of dark ambient in its purest and strongest from. Limited to 450 copies. Pre-order your copy→ NAKED LUNCH RECORDS : ‪#‎darkambient‬ ‪#‎asepticvoid‬ ‪#‎CD

    5 Feb 1:06am Reply
  • Knifymoloko

    @mamafanfan You just blew my mind right there.

    29 Dec 2014 Reply
  • FeatgaryTD

    William Basinski performs an excerpt from his forthcoming release, "Cascade".

    18 Dec 2014 Reply
  • mamafanfan

    @TylerSymes there is sound but no music.

    15 Dec 2014 Reply
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