A beautifully building release of guitar and percussion, one long track that adds intensity through minimal chords, ringing cymbal tones and shaken percussion, over time breaking through to Fripp-ian chords and driving drums. It's quite a journey, music that quietly sneaks up on the listener to slowly enveloping them in a hailstorm of ferocious sound.
Depending on who you consult — or how you spell it — a Tintin(n)abulum is either a "small tinkling bell", a "set of bells played in succession", an amulet of the terrifyingly well-hung god Priapus that early Romans hung in shops to ward off demons and garner prosperity, or a chime that Middle Ages era Romans rang to alert the approach of the Pope during papal processions (way to change it, Nicene Creed). With a bit of squinting, you could argue that Not the Wind Not the Flag's Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia sonically enact three-fourths of these definitions for this 39 minute work.
Displaying all the splendid, delicate intrigue of minimalistic performers such as Taku Sugimoto and Tetuzi Akiyama, Fisher begins with an exposed, unresolved nylon stringed guitar chord, repeating the figure with different dynamics and various pauses in-between to create a composed tension. He continues in this fashion for the next six minutes, adding a few notes and a sporadic chromatic ascension to reconfirm tonality of his original motive. As simple as this appears on paper, the patience is hypnotic and completely enveloping. Valdivia eventually joins and shakes the trance with barely noticeable bowed cymbals and (ta dah!) tinkling metal and wood chimes. Fisher continues his approach, undeterred by the increasing chatter of toms, Gamelan bells, pedaled hi-hat and nervous ride cymbal pings. After a decent independent run, Valdivia finally submits to Fisher's methods, opting for single cymbal swells to accent the guitarist's two-note unison (B) and occasional minor second (B/C) gestures.
With eyes on a beefier goal, the duo suddenly shifts into a looser jam at the 22-minute mark. With Valdivia on full kit, and acoustic guitar on loop, Fisher moves to an effects rack set on "decimate"; distortion and flailing percussion overtake the piece and herald the coming of a battering ram of "War Pigs" style riffing. Though Fisher and Valdivia maintain the simplicity of the first half of the disc, they now work their motifs with a hot poker.... Tintinabulum is a prodigious journey and demonstration of deft artistry by these two men.
TINTINABULUM / Not the Wind, Not the Flag (Barnyard Records)
Wow! Un duo (Colin Fisher à la guitare, Brandon Valdivia à la batterie), une seule pièce de près de 40 minutes. Ça débute en mode ultraminimaliste quasi-acoustique, feldmanesque, pour terminer en mode sludge metal, à la Sunn 0)))! Avec le recul, Tintinabulum utilise la tactique des Necks: altérations subtiles et graduelles pour provoquer un chamboulement complet qui passe presque inaperçu. Brillant et brillamment exécuté!
Wow! A duo (Colin Fisher on guitar, Brandon Valdivia on drums), a single 40-minute piece. It starts as an ultra-minimalist quasi-acoustic, Feldmanesque piece, and ends in full sludge metal mode, Sunn 0))) style. In retrospect, Tintinabulum is using The Necks’ technique: subtle, gradual alterations of a repetitive motif to completely overturn the piece, unnoticed. Brilliant and Brilliantly executed.
Tintinabulum is a 38-minute piece performed by the duo of Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia that explores space, texture and timbre. Fisher, the composer, starts with a series of guitar chords that decay into silence, delicate yet visceral. After a few minutes, Fisher starts adding percussive counterpoint with bells, wood blocks, shakers, cymbals and traps, and as the piece gains momentum, even the subtlest of changes is delightfully startling. Gradually, however, Fisher and Valdivia move into noisier territory aided by electronic effects, and the performance ends in a most satisfying and rather metal-like climax. Gorgeous, this one sneaks up on you.