Appear to Fade by Richard Sears

Release date: September 29, 2023
Label: Figureight

Quite a few artists these days resort to processing their music with loops that are then sliced and arranged in a collage manner. Yet there is actually no middle ground there – either such music produces some mesmerizing results or turn into some disappointing mess.

Paris-based pianist and composer Richard Sears dares to take that route on his latest album Appear to Fade, (with the help of producer Ari Chersky), and luckily for Sears and those who venture into this album the results are both intriguing and… mesmerising.

The project is based on a combination of Sears’ compositions (those in a skeletal form) and piano improvisations, which were then processed by Chersky using magnetic tape loops and analog production tools.

It then took the duo months to edit down the archive, which Chersky then transformed into tape-loop samples. Both have brought along some quite inventive, darkly-toned elements creating quite unique (dark) atmospheres that veer between post-modern classical music and ambient soundscapes.

At the same time though, the loop and collage concept Sears and Chersky used doesn’t create a pieced-up, incongruous sound, but some seamless, spaced-out music that sounds as good as those images that a well-made kaleidoscope can look like.

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