After last year’s split release, it makes sense that Duane Pitre and Eleh would collaborate. It’s a natural fit. As previously mentioned, Duane Pitre works in slowly-bowed microtonal molasses, while Eleh is renowned for intensely physical long-form drone with subsonic waves that, similar to Sunn O))) and Ryoji Ikeda, make me wish for a better hi-fi, heftier speakers and a more tolerant landlord. I’m not working under optimum listening conditions here- a promo mp3, but knowing their work, I managed to get the gist. Still, vinyl is best (if you can score a limited-edition copy that is, as Eleh’s vinyl product gets snapped up by collectors quickly).
Part of the inherent difficulty of Eleh’s work is its’ straightforward manner, with tonal workouts that require patience. The same goes for Pitre, as both challenge you to recalibrate your attention span. With side-long pieces that seem to change imperceptibly being the norm- they ask: How long will you last? With Pitre’s approach to harmonics in the mix, the two pieces here seem hymnal as they work within a set structure: the works are “tuned using pure intonation that utilizes the prime numbers: 1-3-5-7” and there’s something about “utilizing the septimal kleisma to create a disturbance with the seventh harmonic” as well (brb, wikipedia). On my end, I heard smooth low- and middle drones that would alternate in slow intervals, while Side B has an eye-watering analogue buzz that slowly wrings itself dry- maybe that was the septimal kleisma? Underneath, the layers wander off and slowly change shape. At points the streams cross, like spectres pacing back and forth across the stereo field.
Some of my favourite records are the “boring” ones, the ones that initially do nothing and after being exposed to air, they slowly gain colour, and tend to come alive or even transform into something else entirely with subsequent listens. Works by Thomas Koner, Eliane Radigue, and Phill Niblock come to mind, or desert-island albums like NWW’s A Missing Sense or Terre Thaemlitz & Bill Laswell’s Web. Similar to the above, Pitreleh is satisfyingly uneventful.