Album of the Day: Yellow Swans – Going Places

Loath as I would be to invoke the meme of a couple years ago, to suggest that drone is nought but “boneless noise,” with Going Places, I might have to make a particular exception. Going Places is a drone album, made by a noise outfit. It is, if you will pardon the expression, a “swansong.” Though Yellow Swans were certainly never wall noise in the manner of many of the most commonly represented artists on this blog, their previous efforts are absolutely no strangers to walls of sound, psychedelic in their ferocity. The construction of this farewell record is still replete with walls of sounds, but the plaster of ferocity is long-since chipped, the mortar is disintegrating, and the structure is crumbling. In so doing, we are now more aware than ever of the individual bricks: the effect remains psychedelic, certainly, but the fractals are no longer of a violent non-euclidean majesty. Instead, the Hausdorffian invocation is definitively chaotic, inasmuch as it attains a tragic status of unmaking. Though we may be more adept than ever before at discerning individual analogues producing sounds, the predominant instrument is the effect of tape echo, and what could be more apposite? This is a record – in both senses of the term – of the echo. It builds, at times cacophonously – I do not mean to suggest this is “ambient” in the Music For Airports sense, though Going Places‘ cover might well indicate it as a direct inversion – but it fades, and it dies. Though not necessarily in that order. This is a document of the immediacy of ghosts, and the spectrality of the immediate. There is eternity, but it is the eternity of Tithonus:  we cannot control what remains.


“Tears and not sight are the essence of the eye.”

(Jacques Derrida, Memoirs of the Blind)


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