Dirk Serries – Microphonics XXVI-XXX: Resolution Heart

7 Production
7 Composition
8 Mood
8 Instrumentation
7.5

Dirk Serries is a Belgian ambient composer who is relatively unknown to the ‘general public’. However, within the boundaries of his genre—ambient improv—he is widely revered and he has worked together with many renowned musicians, among whom Steven Wilson, Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu), and Steve Von Till (Neurosis). He performed twice on this year’s edition of Dunk! festival; once with his improv trio Yodok III and a second time solo in the garb of his Microphonics-series. Microphonics CCVI-XXX: Resolution Heart is the final chapter to this succession of ten records, being released since 2008 on the Dutch Tone Float label.


RELEASE DATE: 18 November 2016  LABEL: Tonefloat Records


For those who are not familiar with Serries’ work, Resolution Heart might be a very interesting record when it comes to texture. The guitar tones that comprise this album are longwinded and often muffled between layers of noise and reverb, but despite its apparent sluggishness, the music still contains an innate touch of violence, which is due to Dirk Serries’ characteristic guitar playing. Underneath all this ambient glimmer, Series is not able to hide the affective spirit of rock and roll, which is striking.

Conceptually, Resolution Heart builds from the abandoned buildings on the cover art, and extends itself to the metaphorical fulfilment of that image in the song title of XXX The Deprivation of Heart. Despite its conceptual ambitions however, Resolution Heart does not attain such a convincing imagery of other records, such as Hauschka’s Abandoned Cities for example. The song titles are effective in denoting a story line of waking up in an abandoned city, with a feeling of solitude being reinforced by the presence of a vast “skye” overhead, but the ties with the music are feeble and the record sounds plainly metropolitan above all.

Album opener, XXVI Epiphany and Isolation has a slow build up in volume, but it immediately sounds and tastes like the grey urban concrete of the big city. Like its name suggests, the song feels like a slow awakening to the sounds of a vast urban landscape, with visions of outstretched skyscrapers and noises of traffic slowly reaching the mind’s eye the listener.

The album has a more refined sound than the collaborative single of the same name with Jesu frontman Justin K. Broadrick (which was released earlier this year), but that does not mean it’s better! Throughout the past three years, Dirk Serries has tirelessly collaborated with other musicians in improvisational live and studio performances, and especially his live recordings have a distinct raw (or rather emotional) edge that this studio album lacks.

Resolution Heart is a monumental effort, but it is over before you know it. The four songs all start by fading in, and ending by fading out, but their underlying souls intertwine creating a solid unity. And that’s what this record does—creating a convincing end to an impressive body of work. There are no loose ends here. With Resolution Heart, Dirk Serries leaves the listener in an empty room, closing the door behind him, and taking the heart of his music with him to be heard somewhere else.

Purchase here: http://1185600.mijnwinkel.nl/
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