Celer – Redness And Perplexity (2012)

I was very graciously sent an advance copy of Celer’s upcoming album Redness And Perplexity, his 10th release this year, dropping on the 17th August.

Somehow Recordings on their page for this release (music autoplays) forewarns of an album that is, perhaps, not the same Celer sound that we are used to. Initially this is a hard statement to believe, since the opener “Voluminous Files of Multi-Colored Lines / AM Arrest and Conclusion” does not appear to be anything different from the standard Celer drone we are used to. Soft ebbs of drone are accompanied by a curious electronic squealing that incrementally intrudes the relative bliss before cracking and overwhelming its neighbour with its chaotic glitch.

It moves gracefully into “Remaining Impassive, the Other Replied / Yellow – Lit Tiers of Drawback Methodology // Flooded Rooms of Machinery // Moccasin” (yes, that is the actual track name) which is almost Biosphere-esque in its style, maintaining the established drone bliss far in the backfield while a phone conversation in Japanese is played over the top. The conversation terminates seemingly abruptly (perhaps only for those who dont speak Japanese), and music begins to become darker as deep sub-bass pulses begin to intrude alongside the piercing electronic meanderings. They were right, this is not the Celer we are familiar with; this is harsh and experimental, and I feel like I’m missing something.

“Neutral Tremors of Reclusive Intensity / 幡ヶ谷駅 // Looming Face /// Hissing Brilliance //// Buzzing Heartbeat” does live up to its namesake, featuring thudding beats reminiscent of a heartbeat, but also a plethora of field recordings and a distinct cassette tape/record player low-fidelity, like a poorly rendered memory recalling sights and sounds of a distant city. It has distinct phases as it morphs between a pleasant ambient ethos to a coarse, glitch-based barrage of electronic noise which is painful to listen to.

“Sharp Sequel” is a welcome relief as the chaos ends and serenades us into the 45 minute behemoth of “A Less-Abrupt, Multi-Colored (But Faded) Ending” with its 70’s style synths and space ambient feel. Fortunately it seems that the closing track does not seek to assault our eardrums with experimentality either, instead it wants to soothe our distressed ears with pure and quiet minimalism. We are back on familiar territory now as Celer graces us with this beautiful ode to introversion and intimacy, this drawn out sigh that builds its layers at a languid pace, slowly dusting our senses in its paralysing neutrality.

I can’t get behind this album, it’s too avant-garde and experimental from Celer for me to enjoy; it’s nice to see him push the boundaries a little (a lot) and to break out of the mold he has been somewhat typeset into, but one step at a time, you know? I tried, but I just don’t get this album. Perhaps I have simply not explored it sufficiently.


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