Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack – …Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire

(Singlespeed Music)

Like the Thomas Pynchon novels from which it originates, …Awaits Silent Tristero’s Empire is the fruit of a complete system of interconnected cerebral mechanisms. Analysis, refusal, comprehension, even potential saturation are all part of the problem: the typical condition in which aspects affiliated to personal taste and will (or lack thereof) of repeating an experience must be discarded in order to detachedly assess the material’s value. Various instances of apparent stylistic lightness notwithstanding, this work needs a considerable number of focused listens. The scores comprise a wealth of substance, assorted levels of interaction visible within networks of parallel developments that require serious patience (and, just maybe, an acquaintance with Charles Ives’ aesthetic of superimposition; reading that the latter composer constitutes a major influence in Bruckmann’s approach didn’t come as a surprise).

Needless to say, the positive features are enhanced by Wrack’s stellar playing. The musicians show their inside-and-out knowledge of the opus, rendering the execution a breeze while enriching it with a definite sense of humor that comes handy in alleviating a hypothetical aural exhaustion (yes β€” it can happen). Hints to a veritable swarm of genres, melodic insinuations, stop-and-go sections where a wrong note would cause a calamity are all parts of an acoustic landscape enclosing all sorts of behavior. Tomfoolery and stone-dead rigor, cartoon-ish fanfare and swinging barrages, strip-tease and serialism. The constant shifting of the scenario might suggest a “jack-of-all-trades” evil thought if you do not take your time to earnestly study the inherent derivations.

In the liner notes, the leader writes that “Pynchon’s game is daring you to succumb to paranoid systems”. In their ambiguous fallaciousness, words are a useful means to achieve that result; on his side, Bruckmann has done well in transforming multilayered written structures in a complex of instrumental expressions that frequently recall issues related to human’s lack of reliability, especially the incapability of authentically deepening a subject beyond the surface. But, contrary to the average individual’s systematic incoherence, the music here β€” perhaps because it’s music β€” is perceived as totally adequate to the context, although this writer would never use it as a soundtrack for his own failures.