Track Review: Kevin Drumm – “Night Side”

[Hospital Productions; 2013]

Hospital Productions has released an early frontrunner for drone album of the year with Kevin Drumm’s massive two-and-a-half-hour opus Tannenbaum. It comprises oppressively sparse electronic minimalism in the vein of Eliane Radigue from the man who’s brought us such minimal ambient classics as Imperial Distortion and Imperial Horizon. By the sheer size of its scope, however, Tannenbaum rises above everything else in Drumm’s discography. Like Radigue’s work, its changes are almost imperceptibly subtle, yet close listening will reveal a microscopic world of shifting tones and moods. At an hour long, opening track “Night Side” could be an album by itself, and it would be great. It is great; this whole album’s great, a monumental achievement in electronic drone music and a study in understatement. Fans of Leyland Kirby’s 2009 masterpiece Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was will find parallels here in terms of length as well as transcendental melancholy. 10 out of 10, would contemplate the ultimate meaningless of existence again.