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November 1997

Jon Durant
Silent Extinction Beyond The Zero
Alchemy Records

Though many mainstream listeners will find the work somewhat remote, more adventurous folks will find Jon Durant's Silent Extinction Beyond the Zero (Alchemy ALCD 1012; 54:03) an endlessly interesting, rich sonic cycle in the tradition of art rockers like Peter Gabriel and Laurie Anderson, and craftsmen of the eerie Angelo Badalamenti school. The album opens with an elemental, sonic meditation recalling Gabriel's "Passion"-"Crossing Zero," packed with tribal drums, dark chords and guitar effects that cry out and scream. Durant's pieces are built on moods and dynamics-alternately jarring and absorbing. Where "Tears Trickle Down" is visually evocative and mellow with its singing bass, "Clutching Razors" has a dark, foreboding rock beat and feel. Durant executes mini-epics like the twisting, multi-faceted "Three Things No One Knew" on guitar, as well as self-described "ugly bass" and "sonic mayhem"-listen and you'll understand what he means. The effect is a searching song cycle, which though more textural than melodic, will prove ultimately uplifting for those willing to stick with it.

Originally published in November 1997
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