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Onewayness, Blue Star Is Freezing

June 18, 2012

On this three-track offering, Onewayness (aka Adam Holquist) moves the listener at speed through drone spaces, manipuated field recordings, high-speed analog-synth constructs, air-ripping guitar and more.  Add to that the fact that it flashes by in under 40 minutes, and it sounds like a recipe for a train wreck. It’s not. Two out of the three are long enough to give Holquist time to logically move through his scenes. When “Kill All Voices” shifts from gurgling electronics and muddy, processed sound bites to long string pads and then a rapid burst of old-school synth work, it makes sense. (And those first sequenced notes just bring a bit of fun.) It’s an odd progression, but a progression. Once the sequencer breaks in, this track keeps rising in energy, culminating in the arrival of in that wailing guitar, before Holquist throws a switch and shuts it all back down to a hush. Similarly, when sliding guitar chords find their way into the foggy drone-bank of “Nothing Is Hidden, Nothing Is Revealed,” the narrative movement is solid. The guitar is a firm element for several minutes; when it’s replaced by fuzzy electronic slashes, it’s meant to be. What helps is that all the elements are certain and solid. You could listen to the drones on their own, or the analog rushes, and they’d work. Holquist confidently melds it all together, switching their identities without upsetting the listener’s immersion. The middle track is something of a two-and-half-minute long palate cleanser between the two bigger works, but the repeating parade of chime-like tones holds its own, its simplicity a nice contrast to the density of the remainder. Blue Star Is Freezing packs a lot into its short span and doesn’t miss its various marks. Its depth gives repeat listens a lot of value.

Available from the Onewayness web site.

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