First Review of The Meridians of Longitude and Parallels of Latitude

How long does a moment last? Well, it depends. On the speed at which you’re moving, for example. It is said that a particle in a particle accelerator, as it approaches the speed of light, experiences a corresponding slowing down of time. At such a momentum, a single second lasts the equivalent of many years lived at a more sedentary pace. This effect is called time dilation, and is one of many described by Einstein’s famous equation e = mc2.

Each of the five tracks in this first collaboration between David Wenngren and Christopher Bissonnette can be heard as a single discrete moment – a single loop around a particle accelerator, or around the earth. The shortest track is more than seven and a half minutes long, yet they each give the impression of the unfurling of a single sound or sonic texture, whether this be a lush, lulling murmur (as in album opener A Deceptive and Distant Howl) or a thunderous surge (Their Hunted Expression). Moments you could crawl into, or get lost in;  the thoughts of a particle as it drifts at almost the speed of light. The focus on a single oscillating drone, with the occasional subtle scattering of more percussive or fleeting sounds, produces a hold or stretching out of time that is perhaps similar to other temporal distortions such as the time of cinema, or of intense encounters with natural phenomena.

Wenngren’s previous work under the Library Tapes and Murralin Lane monikors will be familiar to many, and Bissonnette’s recent album ‘In Between Words’ was released on the Kranky label to much acclaim. On a superficial level “The Meridians of Longitude and Parallels of Latitude” perhaps has more in common with Bissonnette’s aural environments than with the acoustic instrumentation of Library Tapes, but a closer inspection reveals considerations of form and immersive atmosphere that are hallmarks of Wenngren’s approach. The album is released on Home Normal on 28th October, and is rich with the warmth and tactility one has come to expect from the label (and from the mastering talents of Taylor Deupree). Whether a moment is measured in years, miles, or metres per second is ultimately beside the point: with “The Meridians of Longitude and Parallels of Latitude” it is enough just to be in it.

– Nathan Thomas for Fluid Radio

David Wenngren & Christopher Bissonnette – The Meridians of Longitude and Parallels of Latitude – Available October 28th, 2011

Mastered by Taylor Deupree
Photography by Christopher Bissonnette
Design by Jeremy Bible

01 A Deceptive and Distant Howl
02 A Wild Tonic In The Rain
03 In His Ghostly Heart
04 Burn Like A Meteor And Leave No Dust
05 Their Hunted Expression

Release Description from Home Normal:
Whilst most of you will know of our love for David Wenngren (of Library Tapes fame, of course), Christopher Bissonnette’s ‘In Between Words’ release on Kranky has long been a personal favourite around these parts. So when I heard about their collaboration I almost fell over myself with excitement. The result is the beautiful and noisily freckled masterpiece ‘The Meridians of Longitude and Parallels of Latitude’, mastered by the lovely Taylor Deupree. In many ways the record is a perfect hybrid of their sound, almost the truest of collaborations if you will. It is also a true Home Normal release, fitting of our original intentions for release of works. It is of a drone-like nature, yet at once melodic, intense and possessing a naturally organic graininess and warmth we so love. The cover art is a perfect match for the sound: beautiful, serene, yet freckled and blurred like a frosty window pane. The music is that of a dream, a dusty memory of something beautiful, retaining its alluring being in that which is hidden, seen but not fully recognisable. The good thing about this dream, this memory however, is that we simply have to press the ‘play’ button again when it is over.

Ian Hawgood
Home Normal