Album: JAMES DEVANE – James Devane (Trans<Parent Radiation TRANS013 2008)

This was reviewed on the excellent Mapsadasical (which you probably read – if you don’t, you should). It sounded too good to miss, so I downloaded a (free) copy to have a listen myself. James Devane is based in San Francisco, and his self-titled album is an impressive beast indeed. The nine tracks are named after their start and end times – the album being a seamless suite that takes in drones, loops and field recordings.

It opens with eight minutes of guitar, feedback and organ drone that sounds good at low volume and skull-rattling played louder. Other tracks have a warm, low-key ambience, with gentle loops of plucked guitar strings enveloped in a sea of ambient hum. “15-21” has bird song and the clunking of wood amidst sweeping synths and wouldn’t sound out of place on Biosphere’s Substrata.

The Fennesz comparisons made by Scott at Mapsadaisical are most obvious on “23-27”. Elsewhere, though, Stars of the Lid, Murcof’s recent work and even William Basinski’s minimalist drones are nearer the mark if comparisons must be made. “27-32”, one of the stand-out sequences, combines a fuzzy drone with what sounds like the dripping of molten metal. “32-39” is nearly eight minutes of glassy monotone, oscillating and steadily growing in density and volume, crashing into the waves of molten guitar that end a fantastic forty minutes of sound sculpture.

The album will be issued in May next year in a physical edition of 50. In the meantime, it’s available to download for nothing from here.

1. 00-08 8:34
2. 08-10 1:45
3. 10-15 5:12
4. 15-21 5:49
5. 21-23 1:54
6. 23-27 4:12
7. 27-32 4:32
8. 32-39 7:41
9. 39-41 1:23



3 responses to “Album: JAMES DEVANE – James Devane (Trans<Parent Radiation TRANS013 2008)

  1. No worries. Props where they’re due.

    It’s kinda the point of what we do – getting folk interested in new music they may not have heard.

    Especially freebies – everyone likes a freebie!

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