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Leimer, Kerry: Permissions
Kerry Leimer's newest recording, Permissions, is an excellent example of how certain music can be relentlessly touching, simplistically poignant, and unbearably monotonous. Each one of the tracks here is fragile, humanistic, sparse, natural, and affective, which allows them to express emotions with purity and grace; however, these elements also cause Permissions to be better suited for ambience and setting than for dedicated attention. In other words, they're damn near unlistenable.
Exemplifying Leimer's "disassembled music" technique (as he calls it), Permissions is described as a housing "pieces that verge on becoming traditional, recognizable song forms while refusing to completely cohere." Listeners will hear parts of nature, like rainfall, alongside other field recordings, samples, electronic manipulation, and acoustic instruments. In a way, it feels like the most avant-garde and holistic instances of Lunatic Soul (i.e., the moments without songwriting and vocals). In a way, the album is like collection of transitions that never introduce or conclude actual music.
While Permissions is mostly a tedious excursion that few will be able to stand in its entirety, a few sequences do stand out. The deliberate slowness of "Permissions 10" allows for its parts to create a grand sum; wavering effects are met with earthy sounds and acoustic guitar, which makes for a movingly organic experience. "Permissions 18" is more dissonant, as cold, isolated notes are met with industrial franticness. Also, the tribal percussion and strings in "Permissions 06" makes the track one of the most powerful on the album (which really isn't saying much, to be honest).
Even with the few aforementioned admirable flashes, it's hard to imagine that Leimer (or anyone else) can find enjoyment in listening to Permissions. These pieces feel more like background noise than anything else, and while there must be some reason of its existence, well, I can't find one. These tracks would work well if played over a dramatic scene in a film or television show; as their own artistic artifact, they fail completely.
permissions_10_as was dover
permissions_18_at the green end
permissions_06_how sharp and clear
permissions_16_"over your cities
grass will grow"
permissions_09_absent beneath stone
permissions_21_the slipping thread
Added: December 31st 2012
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: Palace of Lights
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