Dirk Serries: Microphonics XIX

Recorded live at Mex/Kunstlerhaus in Dortmund on December 11, 2011, Dirk Serries' Microphonics XIX offers twenty-four minutes of immersive and meditative dronescaping. The single-sided vinyl release (issued in issued in three, 100-copy editions of golden, white, and silver) is the fourth and and penultimate outing in a series of live releases documenting the period between his 2008 Microphonics debut and a follow-up slated for 2012-13. Serries, also known for his output under the vidnaObmana and Fear Falls Burning aliases, uses a 1976 Les Paul Custom guitar, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe 112 tube amplifier, and effects to generate the intimate setting captured on the new release. Emerging quietly and patiently, the material comes into being as a slow-burning drone of wavering tones before settling into a gentle ambient episode of peaceful splendour. Serries' electric guitar is clearly present, yes, but its delicate side is showcased—at least until its more forthright twang enters to enliven the piece with tremolo shadings and figures. But even when organ-like tones and strums fill in the picture with additional detail and texture, the drifting material never loses its becalmed character nor alters its slow and steady pace. As he's demonstrated before, Serries is here fully committed to sculpting atmosphere as opposed to grandstanding. Though the Microphonics project in general opts for understatement and restraint, this latest chapter is an especially quiet one that's tailor-made for the early morning hours.

October 2011