PRICE: $15.50
A Priori


2008 release. Liner notes by David Tibet: "Once some music dropped through my letter-box; let's summon their sounds into our world now, and deliver their names as Roses or Stations. The picture they imagined was both clear and cryptic: the certainties of the 17th century holding tight the ugly beauty that we now see scattered around us. I loved these CDs by Jozef van Wissem, A Rose By Any Other Name and Stations Of The Cross. And then I received a new album, A Priori, and I immediately played it and heard its stark and repetitive intensity, its stately and glacial march. There is nothing quite like it that I have heard before -- it is timeless, breathing deeply and exhaling showers of snow, endless circles, mirrors, spirals, the sea. When Jozef plays the lute, he pours out endless space. What can I say but let the rain come, close your eyes and watch the stars fall and rise and fall again." "Something has been slowly happening to the perception of lutes, over the past five years or so the instrument has received a kind of popular culture pardon. Jozef van Wissem has been more of a sniper in this battle rather than a braying officer, his releases finding their mark and word spreading of his undoubted skill. A Priori is the most complete example yet of this Renaissance-tagged instrument embracing timelessness. His minimalist playing may be a taint to those who prefer whippersnappers offering rippling runs of notes, to those accustomed to listen till they became surfeited, but van Wissem plays with a tender surety. There is a Satie-like feel to the melody on 'Aerumna,' the sharp strings announcing the notes like sundial chimes. His use of musical palindromes, instead of tying the pieces to form, makes his music seem instead like long, gentle arcs of endless recurring melody. (8/10) --Scott McKeating, Foxy Digitalis