The Decayed Loops of Jeck and Basinski


Using different media, both Philip Jeck and William Basinski explore the gradual decay and manipulation of recorded sound. Jeck, using turntables, is fascinated by the inherent flaws and sonic detritus amplified by his record players, each crackle and undulation woven into the very fabric of his work, imprinting a personal history into every layer of sound. Basinski, in turn, investigates the gradual and physical deterioration of material recorded to tape, most famously on his four-part ‘Disintegration Loops’ whereby recordings he made in the 80’s were re-examined after years in storage, marking the passage of time and circumstance through every dilapidated moment. Although their work loosely falls into what Simon Reynolds has termed Hauntology, Jeck and Basinski stand apart from most of their contemporaries by working within a precise physical methodology, one that allows involuntary and gradual physical erosion to shape the material, rather than just formulating a revisionist re-enactment of the past. This 14 track selection offers an overview of their work, etching years of recorded sound through a kind of environmentally autobiographical bubble that’s both endlessly fascinating and, often, emotionally overwhelming.