Few artists have played a more central role in the recent explosion of high-quality, chops-posi experimental outfits in Chicago than Ben Billington, jammer’s jammer, chinese takeout connoisseur, and member of Tiger Hatchery (with Mike Forbes and Andrew Scott Young) and White Prism (with Josh Burke). With Silver Balloons in Clusters, his most fully realized solo outing since last year’s brilliant Madison Lakes (Cylindrical Habitat Modules), Quicksails has completely fused the finest aspects of everything Billington brings to the table in his other projects, and his highly idiosyncratic synth style finds its natural and inevitable foil in his own drumming.
Tracks like “Must Never Catch It” and “Home in Trees” evoke an alternate history in which time ran backwards for just long enough to permit Milford Graves to blast Departure from the Northern Wasteland on headphones while tracking drums for Black Woman, while “Constant Air Reservoir” and “Deep Creak” stake out a thoroughly subterranean aesthetic turf, filled with the humid whisper of microorganisms describing their favorite hollow earth haunts to buried Lee Perry reels and the hypnotizing throb of jeweled pipe organs encircling a hypothetical ideal pineal gland. On the far side of the core, the unreservedly beautiful closer “A Million Knots” unspools like an impossible Spiegel/Dinger sesh on an infinite subway platform. Silver Balloons in Clusters is a bar-raiser from one of the most deeply rewarding projects going in the contemporary post-electroacoustic underground. It’s majestic in its scope and dazzling in its intricate patternedness, at once liquid, gestural, organic, and absolutely essential. - Tomentosa Records
released January 22, 2015
All things Ben Billington.
Released on Under The Spire Records, UK.
Exclusively licensed in these United States by Captcha Records.
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