White Rainbow Prism of Eternal Now (Kranky) Release date: October 1, 2007
Curb Your Cynicism is a recurring blogtastic feature in which the music editor pithily enthuses about new releases and reissues he thinks will enhance your life and erode your cynicism about the state of music, circa now.
White Rainbow is manifested in Portland, Oregon by one Adam Forkner, who previously expanded minds in Yume Bitsu and Surface of Eceyon; he's also sat in on recordings with Devendra Banhart, Jackie-O Motherfucker and Dirty Projectors. All of these facts should have your Pavlovian Psychodelik meter frantically ding-dinging right about now.
As the glorious title Prism of Eternal Now hints, Forkner aims to transport you to a dimension where clocks are rendered useless and you become blissfully ensnared in a translucent web of shimmering guitars, synths and treated vocals. Your mind trip to this exalted state is further enhanced by chimes, gongs, octave generators, shakers, tablas, water jugs and computers equipped with the philosopher's stone instead of silicon.
Prism of Eternal Now is for folks who have pretty much purged the need to “rock” from their systems (or who simply want a respite from it for a while) and who wish to vibrate on a higher frequency, but without the hokey New Age accouterments. “For Terry” is a pitch-perfect homage to the innovative minimalist composer Terry Riley (especially his timeless A Rainbow in Curved Air), which gives you an idea of the lofty brain-massaging and meditative grandeur for which Forkner is striving. “Mystic Prism” soars into a sun-dazzled, secular holy zone previously only inhabited by Popol Vuh. “Warm Clicked Fruit” recalls the intimate glitch-and-miasma electronica of ambient artists like Loscil and Shuttle358. “Guitar” is a profound exploration into that instrument's capacity to evoke the aum/hum of the universal generator that keeps this world spinning. That it seems to be whirling off its axis toward the end could be Forkner's subtle commentary on global events—or maybe it's just me over-analyzing a wonderful instrumental track.
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Prism of Eternal Now concludes with “Awakening,” a diaphanous sighing of angels tinted with the slightest premonition of unease. It's like a tremulous cry of hope against a backdrop of imminent catastrophe, a glimmer of peace before it all gets grimmer.