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Krakow III (For Klimek and Skip Sands)

Positive/negative

Got to get away

Rising

Out to lunch

Svensson

Closed

Gauze

Palimpsest

I've always loved taking pictures of pictures, as you may have guessed from the above and the below. Or, failing that, pictures of scenes that look like they were already pictures before I got there. Maybe that's why I can't stop listening to Klimek's new album, Dedications. (I'm not kidding about that -- last night, just so I didn't have to keep getting up out of bed while listening, reading [Denis Johnson's overwhelmingly rich Tree of Smoke] and eventually sleeping, I made an iTunes playlist to play the album back-to-back three times.)

Klimek--Sebastian Meissner--is already well known for his ambient records on Kompakt, particularly the self-explanatory Music to Fall Asleep. But this is his best. It's unclear whether the "dedications" involve sampling or, perhaps more like Ekkehard Ehlers' Plays, more oblique reference strategies. The reference points themselves are obscure: consider "For Zofia Klimek"--the artist's grandmother--"and Gregory Crewdson." (There's a guy, come to think of it, who makes photos of scenes that were always waiting to be photos.) Or "For Michael Gira and Vladimir Ivanovich," the latter a Russian shipbuilder. Some of them, on the other hand, seem more like wish fulfillment, like "For Mark Hollis and Giacinto Scelsi." The title suggesting a match made in heaven, it's as though a picture of the pairing were there all along; Klimek just happened to find the forgotten tome where it lay shelved, snapped it and passed it on.

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Comments

I've been trying to get through Tree of Smoke for weeks now - it's terrific writing, but I just can't handle it for more than a few pages at a go. Please let me know if you finish it.

And thanks for the Kilmek tip. I've been looking for more reading music.

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