Wendy Cook: [Thy-012].

March 25, 2011

This is the 12th album from the mysterious Seasons(pre-din). It is de rigeur to use the prefix “mysterious” as no-one apparently knows who or what the project is. A little mystery in these days of uber-information is itself an achievement, but if mystery was all there was, there’d be no need to listen to the album week after week.

The icy chill of Lesser & Still is reminiscent of Aluminum Overcast by Chas Smith, an album seeming to belong to the outer reaches of the Solar System. Lesser and Still has the static hiss and detuned radio to soundtrack an abandoned space station, a sketch of slow patient hopeless eternity. The embedded film track samples, “it’s a different ocean it’s a different world”, fall as echoes in empty corridors.

Many reviews of Seasons speak of a cold dark disaffection but there is warm humanity deep in the core of these albums and something familiar in their dialect, like hearing a familiar accent when far from home. Though the descriptions may be of the least homely parts of the universe, they are brought by a friend, like the reassurance and terror of a parent reading ghost stories at bedtime. This balance of tone is part of the fascination of Lesser and Still.

Over the development of twelve varied albums, Seasons (pre-din) has built sound pictures from field recordings, processed instruments and from straight piano and guitar. Cathedrals of manipulation, chapels of sound. Seasons has an iron belief in the sound worlds he walks in – an ability to follow where they lead and an unblinking ability to gaze and gaze. Lesser and Still is an unflinching album with the reassurance of truth, of honesty. It is a shared recognition which makes it so compelling.

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