Illusion of Safety “Sedation & Quell” 10” (2007)

record coverLong since reduced to the core of Dan Burke, and having shed more famous members such as Jim O’Rourke and Thymme Jone, IOS is still serving up multilayered works, demonstrating how much of the group’s sound stems from Burke’s own explorations.  The two pieces that make up this release forgo the shock tactics of the earliest releases and focus on a more diffuse malaise.  Two other reviewers have made a comparison to the work of The Hafler Trio, and that is easy to see as the central component on this record is the type of rich drones so prominent on later releases from H3O.  However, IOS sidesteps the pseudoscience  and pomposity that come as baggage with any of Andrew McKenzie’s work.  Anyhow, “Sedation” is unsurprisingly, given its title, the more subtle of the two beginning as it does in the most faint manner, shifting after a swash of static-like sounds which ushers in a fuller but still diffuse, calm atmosphere.  Progression continues slowly, adding layers to the sound which occupy distinct sections of the frequency range.  After the half way point, drifting bass tones which remind me of the earlier Organum shimmer through.  “Quell” retains more of the tension that I associate with Illusion of Safety as the drone are more machine-like, although less abrasive than the work of Vivenza.  The track starts with medicine chest’s question in George Lucas’ film “THX1139”: “What’s wrong?”  From there it sets free the anxiety lurking within.  As a coda to “Sedation”, “Quell” ends with a very airy trailout as if to prepare you to flip the record back to its A side.  Of course there is more detail found on both sides, but I don’t feel that an in depth analysis of every component allows staying focused on the overall atmosphere.  Has Illusion of Safety softened? Perhaps not, and more likely this is a rare gift from Dan which allows a deeper sinking into the drone without the usual jarring wake up call.  The record totals around 20 minutes and is pressed on translucent yellow vinyl which is wrapped in a full color jacket.

C.I.P. / Complacency – CIP 21