Month: November 2014


“If there’s a key that unlocks Dirk Serries’ The Origin Reversal, it’s located on the release’s inner sleeve, where the instruction “Play at low volume” and the clarifying detail “All improvisations: streams of consciousness” appear. The Origin Reversal can be seen, in other words, as Serries operating in ambient mode, specifically in the ambient soundsculpting style of his vidnaObmana persona, which the Belgium-based guitarist formally retired in 2007. Ostensibly, The Origin Reversal represents a reboot of the vidnaObmana project—something of a surprise, no doubt, to long-time Serries devotees who had come to believe the project was permanently over.

In fact, the move doesn’t come as a total surprise, given the release in 2012 of Low Volume Music, his meditative collaboration with Steve Roach, and the 2013 release on Tonefloat:Ikon of three solo albums featuring long-form live performances. Executed by the guitarist in real-time directly to a stereo two-track using a Gibson Les Paul, pedals, and effects, The Origin Reversal feels very much like a natural extension of Serries’ recent output.

If one abides by the “Play at low volume” instruction, one discovers that the album does achieve Serries’ presumed aim in the way it floods the space with multi-layered, ambient-styled textures. But the optimal way to experience the album is with the volume up, as doing so allows one to better appreciate the wave-like unfolding of the slow-burning material and the way its ripples overlap so hypnotically.

Admittedly, The Origin Reversal does adhere to the conventions of ambient music in one clear sense, specifically in emphasizing settings that are placid, harmonious, and soothing as opposed to aggressive and dissonant. All five settings are strong, but special mention must be made of the album’s longest track, “Transfuse the Phantom,” a towering, twenty-one-minute set-piece of galaxial scope that closes the set with multiple demonstrations of expertly controlled blaze. Here and elsewhere, Serries, abetted by decades of experience, demonstrates remarkable poise and mastery in the way he shapes the material in real-time.” Textura – Canada


Dark Entries reviews AB show

DIRK SERRIES at AB by Stijn Hüwels
“Voor een select publiek gaf Dirk Serries gisteren een concert in Huis 23. Het mooie zaaltje voorzien van een knusse zithoek met aan de muur een reeks prachtige, sfeervolle foto’s oogt uitnodigend. Net als de setting op het podium. Een houten bijzettafel met een zacht licht verspreidende tafellamp zijn naast de benodigdheden om te kunnen musiceren de enige attributen. Serries bracht voor de gelegenheid uitsluitend nieuw werk en lichtte daarmee een tip van de sluier voor wat de opvolger moet worden van het ‘Microphonics XXI-XXV’ album uit 2013. Als je in de beslotenheid van je huiskamer luistert naar zijn meest recente album ‘The Origin Reversal’ ben je even weg van deze wereld. Een effect dat met het spelen van deze nieuwe composities voor een stukje verloren gaat. De intensiteit en doorleving blijft. Dirk wordt één met zijn instrument. In uiterste concentratie gaat hij helemaal op in zijn op dat moment eigen universum. Tijdens de voorstelling is de stilte – op een paar keer zacht gekuch en een glas dat wordt neergezet na – bloedstollend. De muziek is dat op sommige momenten ook. Vooral wanneer de harde, dreunende drones de bovenhand nemen is het rustgevende en warme gevoel dat ‘The Origin Reversal’ typeert niet meer aan de orde. In verschillende fragmenten gebruikt Serries een strijkstok en het valt op hoe door middel van loops en het opwekken van trillingen de gradatie kan veranderen; van heel subtiel tot wervelend. Na precies een uur stierf de laatste noot weg. Exacte timing, want dit soort muziek eist al je aandacht op en heeft enige tijd nodig om te bezinken Achteraf waren de meningen verdeeld. Persoonlijk vond ik het een unieke belevenis om van zo dichtbij een artiest te mogen meemaken waarbij men zich kan inleven in de creatie van het moment.” Dark Entries – Belgium

(photo by Stijn Hüwels)


“After exploring intense guitar drones for several years as Fear Falls Burning, Serries returns with this release to the ambient tuneage he crafted as vidnaObmana.

Languid textures unfurl with seductive deliberation, establishing an atmospheric realm whose sedate harmonies lure in the listener with ease. These textures are smoothly released, manifesting as sighing tones that ebbed and flow according to their particular temperament. The gentle interplay of these tandem threads created fresh sonic identities, which in turn evolved to form more gestalts as the tunes progress. Variation is often difficult to detect, for the changes occur with such adept subtlety.

The “tone” of these tones is generally low-key, soft and unintrusive. Mellow pulsations stretch out to near-infinite definition, undulating through each track. Their singsong character lends to impressions of expansive regions clouded by enticing effluvium.

These compositions are designed to separate the listener from their immediate environments, lifting their attention to more vaporous vistas which invariably lead inwards, transporting the listener inside their own consciousness. There, a state of detachment mutates into a sense of connectivity with the world they left behind. Everything coexists on the same plane and thereby everywhere is equally reachable. The extreme length of these songs foster ample opportunity for the sonic traveler to satisfy their zoned-out needs.” Sonic Curiosity – USA

Dirk SERRIES AT le guess who?

“After the Drone DJs had prepared the Telepath to Galaxy 12, Dirk Serries came on and wrecked time itself with a brilliant set built round a whole heap of loops and phasers. The audience were pinned down like butterflies on cards; it was incredible and again, it’s impossible to do justice to the show in print. Somehow though it does feel as if Serries, who has been releasing things for years under a number of monikers, is now getting the credit and attention his work deserves. After all, we live in an age where we have become detuned enough to accept this kind of music, and in fact need it, as a sort of prompt to enter our own emotional and spiritual hinterland where we can rejuvinate our spirits. Maybe we’ve just caught up with the raga, after centuries.” Incendiary Magazine – UK


Stars end reviews THE ORIGIN REVERSAL

The journey begins quietly – from out of the trembling air directly to our awaiting consciousness. The Origin Reversal (72’29”) by Dirk Serries speaks to the listener in a way words cannot. The required willingness to stretch our minds to every dimension that music occupies is essential to the full enjoyment of this release. On this front Serries is way ahead of most. Having traveled through an extensive and impressive diversity of specialized personas and landscapes under the names vidnaObmana, Fear Falls Burning, The Black Fire, Principle of Silence, 3 Seconds of Air and others Serries has at this moment settled upon exploring the beautiful mystery and possibilities in his electric guitar’s expressive timbre. The Origin Reversal sessions were the perfect opportunity to re-visit an earlier musical state, now informed by years of creating works outside of it. The gradual pacing, continual contour balancing and concise arrangement of sonic forms imparts all the impressions of self-portraiture. Its stark formal simplicity reduces the planes of the sonorous space into a few distinctive arcing lines of harmonic progression – in a resounding, recurring, returning and retracting ambient order. Each of The Origin Reversal‘s five parts begins quietly as notes murmur and repeat alongside one another in minimal tension. The familiar pluck of the guitar has been suppressed so these notes and chords come through in pleasant swells, yet somewhere within we may feel a tightening, a verging, a hope of release. Each new tone seems breathed into the air in an expansion of texture. Triads circulate and recycle in pleasant ways, but due to the mild discord Serries introduces into each track the sensation of resolution never quite arrives. There is a biological basis for the concepts of consonance and dissonance as the primitive parts of our brain makes sense of sounds first. Serries knows how much it takes of each to create an interesting piece of music – in an emanation that reveals truths recounted only when the last echo has subsided.” Stars End – USA 

the solo live series

tomorrow we dive in with the first of a short but interesting series of solo concerts :

19/11 – Effenaar (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) – in support of LOOP
23/11 – Le Guess Who? at Tivoli (Utrecht, The Netherlands) – part of the 24hours drone marathon
27/11 – AB (Brussels, Belgium) – SOLD-OUT !
05/12 – Cinépalace (Kortrijk, Belgium) – special 2 set show

spinning plates, discs and tapes : autumn passes

Teun Verbruggen & Trevor Dunn – Department Of Entomology (LP, Rat Records 2014)
Mono – The Last Dawn/Rays Of Darkness (2xLP, Pelagic Records 2014)
Martin Küchen & Landaeus Trio – Four Lamentations And One Wicked Dream Of Innocence (LP, Moserobie 2014)
Chaos Of The Haunted Spire – Live At Trix (tape, Rat Records 2014)
Webster/Holub/Anorak – Languages : Live At Vortex (CD, Gaffer Records 2012)
Ken Vandermark – Nine Ways To Read A Bridge (6CD, Not Two Records 2014)
Dead Neanderthals – Polaris (CD, Utech Records 2013)