Wrekmeister Harmonies - Light Falls (Thrill Jockey) 2016
Wrekmeister Harmonies’ records tell grandiose stories. JR Robinson and Esther Shaw, the heart of Harmonies, destroy, resuscitate and move through worlds relying on cooperative contrasts. In the first part of the title piece, Robinson repeats, “stay in, go out, get sick, get well, light falls;” these words echo feelings of movement throughout each song. Light Falls was inspired by anti-fascist Primo Levi’s memoir of his year in Auschwitz, If This Is a Man. Robinson transformed Levi’s assertions, that inhumanity stems from slow changes that rational people inadvertently accept, into the album’s theme: an audible change that mimics the sunset’s transformation into darkness. The transitions from subdued violin to vehement guitar convey their intended message of metamorphosis. Joined by only five guest musicians this time, Harmonies are perhaps more intricate and anecdotal with their sounds than ever before.