Celer, a group whose unfortunate dissolution threatens to stand no more than waist-high to their release schedule, emits two more long-playing discs. With recordings dating to two and three years ago, the pair’s free-floating sound is hardly constrained by time, nor form, as the soft-lit drones which comprise the bulk of their work is equally, arbitrarily shot-through with profound little ornaments that resonate only in the gentle vastness in which they are suspended.
In the case of the verbose ‘Panoramic Dreams Bathed in Seldomness’, this non-committal bookkeeping is accomplished through comma and semi-colon, as the disc’s four tracks are split in fact upwards of eight ways, if not through divided movements than at least through unsettled questions for the author. We have divined something, but what is it? It seems to be an archival task which has out-raced the creative process of whittling raw material that has been composited into a single piece. Nevertheless, the rich bass tones of “Collections of Fogs and Ladling Clarities” nicely complicates the Hammock-y optimism which threatens to choke the first part of track one, “Anticline Rests; Inertia Brace Yourself”; over and between minor and dissonant chords, a watery chant rounds over yet passes as does the fear of being swallowed, a bluff which Celer is still, to their credit, able to pull-off. “Who Feels Like Me, Who Wants Like Me, Who Doubts Any Good Will Come Of This” follows, actually an entirely singular piece but one with implied “doubts”, a neo-classical contour of elegant melancholy and surprising depth. The disc is rounded out with a 20-minute drone duet, static yet noble and entirely representative of the group, except when it grinds to a halt.
Illuminating a young Los Angeles label with one of the brightest sparks from their obscene post-production derailment, Celer share the carefully-prepared ‘Dying Star’ with even more careful instructions to emphasize the most-delicate nature of this release. Appropriately prompted with a liner notes quote from Merleau-Ponty, the music can best, perhaps only, be articulated phenomenologically, as a sensual experience not to be reduced or rationalized to its technical, conceptual, or informational core. Improvised without edit from analog synthesizer and mixer, the sound is as sparse yet engrossing as those “no-input” works which appear now and again, with droning hues of electromagnetism which barely register when listened to with a hand on the volume knob (in my mind, though not theirs, the better way to appreciate the disc). But rather than read into the machine-soul as so many such works provoke us to do, these emotive sounds do no more than that, selecting – not describing – a feeling, and then paired to an individual’s sentiment in perfect little micro-poems (“How I Imagine My Hand Holds Yours”, “On The Edges Of Each Season”, “I Could Almost Disperse”). Though the focus of each track seems to strike at the same point in the ear (i.e. the same emotion, the same sentiment) – and the blending together is hardly a distraction – the tracks vary widely in length. Though it may be claimed these are to encapsulate each fleeting (that is, to different degrees) feeling, it strikes me that the impression is already made, and doubly quick with the very effective titling scheme. Rather, I think the longer durations belong wholly to the authors, who linger (some may say over-interested, and therefore narcissistically), doubling the experience by already feeling for us. CD comes tabbed to an oversized, inkjet print in a very optimistic run of 500 copies.