A collection of perfectly realized slabs of drifting tones, humming drones and rustling static, Dedications is primarily sourced from acoustic sound sources. The record falls in line with the first two Klimek LPs, which were admittedly a bit too similar sounding for comfort, but Meissner now presents the listener with a more refined, tweaked and polished revision of the aesthetic. The heavily processed samples recall the withered majesty of William Basinski's Disintegration Loops, but the tracks - arranged with a painter's touch and awash in milky reverb - are not just about ambience: they're just as indebted to Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western guitar as Brian Eno.
Like so much of Meissner's work, this record comes complete with an overarching concept. In the past, Meissner has tackled topics as stiflingly heavy as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and urbanization, but thankfully, Dedications is less serious: it's a tribute album with each track dedicated to a pair of people that have influenced Meissner in some way. Some dedications are clearly musical reference points ('For Ezekiel Honig & Young (Pan) Americans'), while others hark back to Meissner's multimedia background ('For Steven Spielberg & Azz El-Hassan'), and still others touch upon his own family history ('For Zofia Klimek & Gregory Crewdson'). Regardless, when you strip away the conceptual framework, you’re left with a collection of tracks that stand out as some of the finest in a discography overwhelmed by excellent releases.
In the end, with ambient music it’s the listening experience that really counts, and Dedications is as lush, engrossing and ultimately rewarding a record as you’re likely to come across. With this album, Meissner has broken the Klimek project out of its stylistic rut and pushed it to the next level, crafting an album that reveals its beauty gradually, layer by layer, with each spin of the disc.
Sun / 9 Dec 2007
01 For Jim Hall & Kurt Kirkwood
02 For Ezekiel Honig & Young (Pan) Americans
03 For Zofia Klimek & Gregory Crewdson
04 For Eugene Chadborne & Henry Kaiser
05 For Michael Gira & Vladimir Ivanovich
06 For Marvin Gaye & Russel Jones
07 For Mark Hollis & Giacinto Scelsi
08 For Steven Spielberg & Azza El-Hassan