(New Album Review) Twinkle³ with Sidsel Endresen – Debris In Lower Earth Orbit

Twinkle³ (Clive Bell, Richard Scott, and David Ross) and Sidsel Endresen’s Debris in Lower Earth Orbit, the second release from Manchester’s Cuspeditions, is a real treat; the esoterically-cultivated British experimental trio and the now-legendary Norwegian jazz vocalist have come together for a total psychical eclipse, a meeting orchestrated by David Sylvian that birthed a meditation on impermanence teeming with deep textures and mischievous, alarming juxtapositions.  These electro-acoustic soundscapes, dominated by Bell’s shakuhachi and other woodwinds along with Endresen’s glossolalia and vague intonations, crackle and shiver with Ross’s interruptions on modified oscillator and Scott’s electronic revisions…it is a conversation that smacks just as much of wind and water as of gas clouds and detritus whirling through space. Sure, one could say that Debris in Lower Earth Orbit samples from several different cultures instrumentally (check, for instance, the shimmering tone from Ross’s kantele toward the end of “The Kessler Cascade”) to “exotic” effect, however, the point here is that the timbres selected are uniquely suited to the effects that are being striven for: abrupt transmutations from the graceful and susurrant to the piercing and eerie. When one clears one’s mind of the cultural associations it carries, Bell’s shakuhachi takes on the soulful quality of a disembodied voice, darting and ducking with the human voice alongside it through the sidereal gardens of “Gloominescence” and “Cosmos and Iridium Embrace”. The “idiom” the collective was aimed for evokes the whispers and interrogations of superreal phantoms, on Earth and elsewhere…

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