Rosy Parlane

Iris

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This is Rosy Parlane's first "major" release after a handful of albums on tiny labels (including his own Sigma imprint), and his strongest achievement to date. The music has now lost any trace of harshness (which was still present in 2001's Getxo) to adopt a soft, shimmering quality. Jon Wozencroft's predominantly blue photographs adorning the booklet aptly reflect the character of the music: calm, snugly warm, slightly sad or pensive. Once again Fennesz comes to mind, but a Fennesz stripped from his reassuring melodies and occasional harsh outbursts, leaving only the rich textures of filtered sounds. Iris is comprised of three pieces titled "Part One," "Part Two," and "Part Three," and they truly give the impression of a single work in three movements. Each piece establishes its mood immediately, then takes its time to evolve, giving the listener time to accept its inherent logic -- or to be oblivious to the stretched-out fade-ins and slow turns. "Part Two" is a delicate, ever-shifting cloud: you can decide to lay down on it and be carried or gaze into it to watch the fog currents interact, your eyes unable to reach the other side of the cloud, except in the very last few seconds, when the whole thing swiftly dematerializes. The human factor is very strong throughout the album; Parlane has planted in his music a sense of kindness that is too rare in this kind of music. Listeners who come to experimental electronica by way of Fennesz should seriously consider choosing Iris as their next step.

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