Delayer - Breath By Breath By Breathing
from &etc v2002_14 (3/10/02)
review by: Jeremy Keens
The second front opens for Pretentious - the :Zoviet*France: axis! The X-ZF sub label is a vehicle for ex-members to release material through a like-minded CDR label: Terry Bennett has maintained a :Zoviet*France: discography that is as masterful as Muslimgauze: The Messenger. Delayer is Andy Eardley, and I must admit that it is my loss that I was not a follower of ZF and have not had a chance to 'get into them'. X-ZF will be an opportunity to explore some of their
branchings. Taken together with my experience of Rapoon and some other members, the quality of this disk suggest some fascinating times ahead.

A message to the Pretentious list (I would advise subscribing to get updates on releases - yes, I have connections via an e-friendship with Terry and my role with the Messenger) indicates that the album title reflects the voice focus of the pieces, some of which were originally created for Zoviet. A warbling whistle noise and didgeridoo-like pulses run with click-tap rhythms and pulses, driving the 'Leave the streets' along. There are little building waves, a mixture of tribal and mechanical, dramatic, moving through the scale. Simpler approach in the second track 'As you let go', which takes a self-hypnosis tape and echoes and reverbs it, layering at times with parts forming a basal loop, some wooshes derived from the sounds adding to the structure, losing contact with the base as it pulses along. In 'Feel the warmth' long backwards tones, whipping at the end, build and shimmer, ringing and clanking running through, a melancholic tone as it drifts, resonant and haunting, a phasing beat under the latter part. The voice is obvious in 'Process purce' as chant-like voices, highly processed, within deep tones and spirals, a full and active track that surges with the voices, whips and tings echo around - a spacey mystical mood of extended ambience as sounds spiral off.

A hiss with echoed percussive sounds opens 'Accord', then big bellowing deep resonant tones and rich cello-like ones form a stately tone progression, bell-like shimmers in there. And then 'Daisy gun three', is a swirly miasma of rumbling mechanicals with long voiced tones and short high whippings.

When I first listened to this I hadn't checked the track times - it is useful when you are listening for a review to know how long pieces are - whether a quiet passage is the end or a hiatus. The final track 'Urban chant' was a huge surprise - a 37 minute piece based around a chant, an extended mooo-wang sound: the moo becoming a pulsing percussive loop; the wang echoing and metallic. Overtones and harmonics develop, the density ebbs and flows a little, and melodic lines develop. I was reminded obscurely of the Fripp & Eno albums, in structure and some sounds. As the track kept going and going I just got more and more impressed with it, with Delayer's willingness to keep it going and the strength that that extension creates. An
(en)chanting track.

A lovely album that is a great opening gambit from this label - for Zoviet France fans of old (I would imagine) but also for the general punter.

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