Talvihorros / Damian Valles
Moments and Ruins


This new split on the Textura label brings together UK-based composer, Talvihorros (aka Ben Chatwin), and Canadian Damien Valles for a lush set of spacious experimentalism.  Talvihorros opens with the strings-and-crunch-laden “From Within A Hollow Body (Part I).”  It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful piece of work as layer-upon-layer of cascading sound is built into something massive and overbearing.  It is music rife with tension, holding onto the ledge tighter and tighter until there’s nothing left to do but let go and free fall into oblivion.  ”From Within A Hollow Body (Part II)” is like being lost in a black expanse, unable to perceive any depth or passage of time.  Enchanted by Chatwin’s carefully chosen, scraped-up guitar notes, you flutter through the air, lost in endless space.  This is subtley dark, beautiful music.  Valles keeps the momentum churning by blowing all of Chatwin’s ideas to bits and pieces with “Hollow Earth Theory.”  It’s the perfect recipe.  If Talvihorros built the monument, Valles is immortalizing the ruins.  Graveyard dirges of scraped strings and discordant, sporadic piano notes crawl through the black dirt, digging in deeper as they go.  The lower the piece gets, the heavier Valles plays his hand.  As everything builds to a gloriously organic crescendo in this incredibly detailed piece, Valles smothers the last bit of life out with an ominous drone. - Brad Rose

Damian Valles
Nonparallel (In 4 Movements)

Extracted solely from avant-garde classical LPs that bore the Nonesuch logo during the ’60s and ’70s, Damian Valles distills the source material into a digital miasma of often menacing and bleak voids of distortion.  Valles’ work goes far beyond mere sampling; all the materials that cling to “Nonparallel (In 4 Movements)” are resoundingly new, transformed from atonal and rhythmic chamber music into washes of invigorating texture and ribbons of fragmented noise.  A haunted, disembodied quality not only inhabits the music of “Nonparallel,” but also the method in which Valles crafted the album, as if Ives, Carter, and Bartok are fighting to be heard through the thick stratums of static.  ”Movement IV” slowly lumbers to a crescendo of churning, processed distortion that recalls late period Yellow Swans and the record’s initial two pieces recall vintage Philip Jeck, but the comparisons make Valles’ imaginative reworkings no less rewarding.  - Ryan Potts