Rafael Anton Irisarri – The North Bend


If this album had been presented to me ‘blind’, without knowing anything about it, I doubt that I would have guessed that I was listening to the new Rafael Anton Irisarri album “The North Bend“.

I would probably have mistaken these rather dark repeating loops for a new William Basinski recording.

Rafael Anton Irisarri  (also main member of The Sight Below) obviously isn’t afraid to leave expectations for what they are and explore different worlds.

The music on ‘”The North Bend” is quite different from the piano-focused music of his earlier releases Daydreaming (2007), Hopes and Past Desires (2009) and Reverie (2010).

For that reason, it may take a few extra turns to get used to, but finally the five tracks slowly reveal their secrets and beauty:

” […] a sound of uncertain source and unknown origin; …like wind, far away, but with a depth like a rumbling of the earth.”

The drones, loops and rumbles are somehow related to natural landscapes (the pacific northwest of the United States to be more precise). But this music is not about birds, crickets and refreshing brooks.
It’s about nature on a much larger scale: about vast impressive landscapes that make you feel small and insignificant.
About “Valleys, Mountains, the nearly endless Sea of Trees”…and filled with hidden mysteries.
Like the music on The North Bend itself.

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