CLEARING “Themes” (Lillerne)


I knew it. You knew it too, you just weren’t ready to admit it yet. Or maybe you just couldn’t piece together the thought until you heard it from me. Either way, I knew it – I knew that this Clearing tape was going to simply wash over me in all shades of bliss and make me feel like deep mysteries of the universe were going to be made real to me, and also that everything was going to be OK. It’s funny how nostalgia works – longing manifests in the familiar, the safe, and curdles itself into a cold anticipation, a tempered excitement. I used to thrive on that kind of feeling all the time. I’m having nostalgia for my own nostalgia.
Joseph Volmer is Clearing, and he’s been at it for quite some time. In fact, Themes marks his fifth cassette for Lillerne. The fifteen untitled pieces – well, Themes 1 to 15, I guess – were recorded to hand-cut tape loops and layered and processed from there. Perhaps not surprisingly – I knew it – these Themes billow like clouds, vaporous, opaque, hazy, like soft-focus films of memory or faded photographs. It’s pretty safe to assume that any Clearing tape is worthy of jamming in a cassette deck any time you want the sweet swell of ambience to fill the room, and Themes continues to prove that you’ve made the right choice this time around as well.