Lazy Arc from Tim Story and Hans-Joachim Roedelius can be considered the closing portion of a musical trilogy quite a while in the making. Its lineage began in 2003 with the duo’s first collaboration, Lunz, which begat 2008’s Inlandish, which is the direct ancestor of Lazy Arc, composed as it is from thoughts and movements that occurred during that album’s creation. In a November 2014 interview with Ambient Music Guide, Story noted that during the Inlandish sessions, he and Roedelius developed “many hours of longer, more ‘intuitive’ improvisations that were really beautiful and compelling on their own…” Those pieces were woven together, he says, to create Lazy Arc. The songs here share the dreamy, balletic feel of their predecessors, a blend of intimate, slow-moving melodies and fluttering butterflies of electronic burble. The work is graceful and strange, and utterly compelling. Deep listening is both required and amply rewarded; there is something to hear, to notice, to feel, in each moment. It may be the heavy chords punching out in Part Four, or the misty ambient passages of Part Six–the longest piece here, one that keeps changing its face, beautifully–or the gritty electronics of Part Two, with its expressive moments that make me think of Story’s wonderful solo release, Buzzle. Throughout, Roedelius’ piano walks patiently through the misty sound-paths Story lays down, and its very human solidity keeps us anchored. It is the stepping-off point for these thoughts, the source of every sound-mutation in play. What’s more, Lazy Arc possesses a very strong sense of emotion. Somewhat sad, perhaps, or maybe just deeply pensive, but the underlying melodies have a definite heart-tugging tone. These are all superb contemporary compositions that pull a lot of strength from moments of play. (Story has said that during these sessions, he would occasionally reach over and tweak something on Roedelius’ keyboard as he played, just to change a tone or a harmonic.)
Listeners need to devote time and headspace to Lazy Arc. The detail work is excellent, the immersion is complete. This is sound to surrender to, an hour in the hands of two masters whose working chemistry has formed over the course of a 30-year friendship. It is seamless and pure and the results are sublime. An absolutely wonderful release from Mssrs. Story and Roedelius. You must hear this.
Available from Tim Story’s web site.