[sic] Magazine

Tom White – In Poor Visibilty

Having turned heads earlier this year with the severely limited ‘A Well Known Phrase‘, through Under The Spire, 23-year old guitar experimentalist Tom White rounds of 2009 with his full-length debut. White, we are told, improvises with mic feedback, dictaphone tape collages, found sounds and guitar. He collects these fragments and later edits and shapes them into a cohesive whole. The result being a highly skilled and carefully considered recording.

The emphasis is, as is the case with most musicians in guitar/drone field, very much on atmosphere, but it’s White’s sheer perseverance to create such an aura which sets him apart. Case in point is the brooding ‘On Sundays‘, where mantra-like drones are intercepted by howling wind sounds and vague hints of news reports and other voices to create a profoundly haunting sound world. ‘Moredown Cooling Towers‘ enhances these themes further, running like something you may associate with the primitive nature of the Digitalis Industries imprint, albeit electronically enhanced with flickers of grainy Fennesz like static.

It’s gargantuan 12-minute plus opener ‘Cecil Andrew‘, though, where White truly impresses, displaying the full gamut of his range throughout this terrific introduction. It’s resplendent in white-noise infected textures, more static and distant sonic rumblings and other industrialised sounds. Possessing intoxicating qualities, an underlying noir-ish melody propels this track, gradually adding dark matter to the point of immersion, before disappearing into the light via what sounds like cello. Perfect for listening to, like the majority of this record, when there’s an unforgiving storm raging outside.



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