“For those who are not familiar with Serries’ work, Resolution Heart might be a very interesting record when it comes to texture. The guitar tones that comprise this album are longwinded and often muffled between layers of noise and reverb, but despite its apparent sluggishness, the music still contains an innate touch of violence, which is due to Dirk Serries’ characteristic guitar playing. Underneath all this ambient glimmer, Series is not able to hide the affective spirit of rock and roll, which is striking.
Conceptually, Resolution Heart builds from the abandoned buildings on the cover art, and extends itself to the metaphorical fulfilment of that image in the song title of XXX The Deprivation of Heart. Despite its conceptual ambitions however, Resolution Heart does not attain such a convincing imagery of other records, such as Hauschka’s Abandoned Cities for example. The song titles are effective in denoting a story line of waking up in an abandoned city, with a feeling of solitude being reinforced by the presence of a vast “skye” overhead, but the ties with the music are feeble and the record sounds plainly metropolitan above all.
Album opener, XXVI Epiphany and Isolation has a slow build up in volume, but it immediately sounds and tastes like the grey urban concrete of the big city. Like its name suggests, the song feels like a slow awakening to the sounds of a vast urban landscape, with visions of outstretched skyscrapers and noises of traffic slowly reaching the mind’s eye the listener.
The album has a more refined sound than the collaborative single of the same name with Jesu frontman Justin K. Broadrick (which was released earlier this year), but that does not mean it’s better! Throughout the past three years, Dirk Serries has tirelessly collaborated with other musicians in improvisational live and studio performances, and especially his live recordings have a distinct raw (or rather emotional) edge that this studio album lacks.
Resolution Heart is a monumental effort, but it is over before you know it. The four songs all start by fading in, and ending by fading out, but their underlying souls intertwine creating a solid unity. And that’s what this record does—creating a convincing end to an impressive body of work. There are no loose ends here. With Resolution Heart, Dirk Series leaves the listener in an empty room, closing the door behind him, and taking the heart of his music with him to be heard somewhere else.” Arctic Drones – Turkey
“I received a review copy of this record, Dirk Serries’ final Microphonics release in the post- an actual copy of the record to review, which seems so unusual as to be worth remarking on, despite probably not being especially relevant to anyone reading. Anyway, it arrived on a rainy December afternoon, and the black vinyl and grey cover images certainly seemed to fit well with the grey clouds turning to black night.
At first it most reminds me of Gorecki’s slow unfoldings and painstaking cello sweeps: austere and patient waves of sound in charcoal monochrome, under which minimal fragments of melodies lift their faces, somehow restrained and lavish at once. It strikes the same tone as compatriot Syndrome, but with simpler and subtler tools. The album art, a grey photograph of apartment buildings that’s the same on front and back, at first made me think of a more realistic, bleaker version of the Physical Graffiti sleeve, while fitting in with the black and white architecture imagery on the other covers in the Microphonics series.
That series comprises at least seven or eight previous instalments (the roman numerals mark the tracks), and the approach here is similar to what I’ve heard of them; solo pieces carefully put together with gently undistorted drone guitar, slow washes and precisely controlled dynamics, making much of a narrow set of musical tools. The tracks have elegantly long tail-outs and fade-ins, and the subtitle, resolution heart, is a nice phrase for the effect of such contemplative drones. Experimental in the best way, they’re curious, patient and sensitive explorations of minimal themes which reward attentive listening in the right late-night or otherworldly mindframe.
Music that’s probably not to be called upon greatly often, but sometimes is just right: expansive, balanced between soft sumptuous expansiveness and sombre brooding. So perhaps it does make particular sense that they sent me a copy on record, in that it created its own occasion for listening, removing it from background drones and settling into itself as accompaniment to rainswept evening window-gazing.” Echoes And Dust – UK
|“8/10 rating. How have I not heard of this guy? Really. I feel as if I must have been dwelling in a cultural vacuum for the majority of my existence. It’s not as if I’m ignorant of the fields in which he operates, after all. For the unfamiliar, it’s worth taking a moment to check his bio: ‘The Belgian-based artist Dirk Serries has experimented with music on the border between avant-garde, industrial, experimental and ambient for more than 30 years. He released his earliest work behind the pseudonym vidnaObmana up to 2007 when he closed the book on this project (realizing an extensive discography). Other projects like Fear Falls Burning and his Microphonics series made him collaborate with several key-players like Steven Wilson, Justin K. Broadrick, Cult Of Luna, Steve Roach and toured extensively on the sides of Jesu, MONO, Low, My Bloody Valentine and Cult Of Luna.’
‘Epiphany and Isolation’ intermingles broad ambient brushstrokes with the expansive swell of organ. Despite my abject antipathy to religion in general, and in particular the trappings of Christian ritual, I cannot help but be moved by the depth and tone of the organ. The sound as of and in itself stirs something incommunicable, indescribable, but which conveys a spirituality beyond religion as its notes ascend to the skies and beyond. The long, multifaceted drones
The alum’s four pieces are mellifluous, amorphous and delicately sculpt intangibles. These are compositions of the vaguest of forms, yet which stiff offer a sow-moving sense of release.
‘Swept to the Skye’ evokes, on a highly personal level, the atmosphere of the Isle of Skye, the magical, mystical island off the West coast of Scotland. Anyone who has observed, first-hand the breathtaking landscape shaped by the inhospitable Cuillin mountains and the awe-inspiring Old Man of Storr will likely have an understanding of the way in which the supple drones reflect the immense grandeur of this unspoilt, prehistoric landscape, which, in its remoteness, is even now possible to observe in the absence of other humans.The final track, the fourteen-minute ‘The Deprivation of Heart’ is the sparsest of the set, a forlorn piece, whereby elongated drones ebb and flow in a thin, airless atmosphere.Resolution Heart is a magnificently restrained suite of compositions, which flow together to create an absorbing, unified whole in which the listener can fully immerse themselves, lose themselves, and find themselves once more.” Whisperinandhollerin – Ireland.
“The final instalment in Dirk Serries‘ long-running series of releases, Resolution Heart sets a fittingly uplifting mood for the end of a process that started with the first Microphonics CD in 2008. Presented on heavyweight vinyl (with a limited boxed art edition available too), the LP bids farewell to Serries’ eight-year exploration of the dynamics of tone, texture and timbre, the music delivered with a distinctly different atmosphere than when in his alternate drone guise of Fear Falls Burning.
Possessed of a mellifluous grandeur floating in on rolling organ(ic) drones, the album’s track titles alone are enough to communicate his intent, such as “Epiphany and Isolation” and “I Communicate Silence”. The latter hints at Serries’ subtly-applied technique of opening with up to a minute’s worth of barely-audible rising harmonics on each piece. This gradual sweep soon fills the air with the sound of cascading slow reverberations and plangent microsurges that weave a magical spell constructed of nothing more (nor less) than sound waves and sense impressions, and the effect can be overwhelming, almost beatific.
a magical spell constructed of nothing more (nor less) than sound waves and sense impressions
Likewise, the silence that he communicates returns to bring forth a swirling swarm of effects-riding half-melodies that fill spaces somewhere between those occupied by the likes of, say, Main and Michael Rother, shimmering and salient among gentle ambient structures, content to take the long, slowly transforming road down into the valleys where quietude returns among the softly warming crackle of the vinyl run-out groove on side one.
If there’s an overarching theme to Resolution Heart then “Swept to The Skye” builds strongly upon it, a hearty bass presence swelling under the treble layer until it nigh-on rattles the windows and shakes the firmament itself in its steadfast determination to evoke feelings of both breathless incipient dread and the approach of some kind of sublime, angelic rapture
If there’s an overarching theme to Resolution Heart then “Swept to The Skye” builds strongly upon it, a hearty bass presence swelling under the treble layer until it nigh-on rattles the windows and shakes the firmament itself in its steadfast determination to evoke feelings of both breathless incipient dread and the approach of some kind of sublime, angelic rapture. The cleanliness with which Serries achieves his sound comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with his alternate identity as vidnaObmana, and here he takes the restrictions of time and space as blessings to be worked within, giving the whole a singular identity.
Often understated and happy to let nothingness and absence be active choices, Resolution Heart saves the final melancholy for Microphonics part XXX, “The Deprivation Of Heart”. This is a piece which breathes with the listener, unfolds its sorrows at parting and lifts up into one last pounding-hearted trembling of the beams, the delayed departure shuffling off in dustmotes and drones that conclude the series with no bangs, no whimpers, but one perfectly drawn-out fade.” Freq – UK
“Exploring a sense of the surreal Dirk Serries’ Microphonics creates a lovely swirl of sound with “microphonics XXVI-XXX : resolution heart”. With a glacial grace and grandeur, the way melodies emerge out of the dense drones is simply stunning. Small sounds gain such significant in these ambient symphonies. Elements of the sound hark back to the same pioneering spirit of William Basinski’s work, as a similar kind of nostalgic element drives them forward. The sprawling ambitious focus works wonders for the sound, as the way that the pieces unfold results in a slowly shifting sound, one that resembles more a force of nature than a traditional approach to music.
Great waves of distorted masses hang overhead on the album opener “XXVI epiphany and isolation”. On this piece Dirk Serries’ Microphonics lets the many layers come together. The gradual ebb and flow of the piece results in a soothing calming sensibility. Far denser in texture is the labyrinth work of “XXIX i communicate silence”. Various glistening tones come together to create the angelic hue of “XXVII swept to the skye” where the many textures result in a wonderful amorphous cloud of sound. By far the best track on the album is the album closer “XXX the deprivation of heart”. Gentle at first the languid pacing has great effect as it simply blooms into such lush worlds.
Timeless and infinitely tasteful, Dirk Serries’ Microphonics delivers an all-engrossing blurred beauty with “microphonics XXVI-XXX : resolution heart”.” Beachsloth