Ian William Craig

A Turn of Breath

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AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson

Following several self-released digital albums, Canadian composer Ian William Craig made his vinyl debut with the astonishing A Turn of Breath, originally released by Sean McCann's Recital label in 2014. Craig crafts his art using decrepit tape machines and analog synthesizers, utilizing techniques common to underground noise and experimental music, but he incorporates his own operatically trained vocals into the fabric of his compositions. The busted equipment makes his already haunting voice sound more fragile and eerie, with distorted fragments passing through the tape heads several hundred times and creating ghostly, abstract rhythms. When lyrics are audible, as on the two-part "A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold," they're about allowing heaviness and feeling something shift. More often, the vocals are transformed into patterns and clusters of sound that express pure feelings and sensations in a way that words couldn't possibly do justice. Quite simply, A Turn of Breath is one of the most creative, original, and moving experimental albums of the 2010s.

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