Basinski’s Disintegration Loops Reissued

Temporary Residence to reissue William Basinski's already seminal documents of memory, loss and decay; Basinski to perform live in London this week

William Basinski’s seminal Disintegration Loops has been remastered, report The Wire, and will be re-released as part of a weighty 12lb box set, which includes nine LPs, five CDs, a DVD and a 144 page book. Quite the array of product, and rather more monolithic than the source material Basinski originally used to make the music. Although originally released a decade ago on Basinski’s own label 2062, 2000 copies of the box set re-release will be available from 4th September, courtesy of Temporary Residence.

The Disintegration Loops are also set to be inducted into the 9/11 Memorial Museum later this year – a fitting tribute, as Basinski originally dedicated the Loops to the victims of 9/11. His dedication stemmed from the fact that the Disintegration Loops were his own soundtrack to the 9/11 disaster – when the towers fell, Basinski was with neighbours on top of his rooftop terrace in Brooklyn, with them playing in the background.

The music used as source material for the Disintegration Loops was recorded by Basinski in 1982, and during the process of digitising and archiving these analogue tapes, he discovered that the tapes were literally disintegrating as they turned in the tape machine – lending them their name and strange, crumbly textures.

“During the transfer process, as each of the loops played round and round on the tape deck, I soon realized the tape loops were disintegrating — the iron oxide particles were gradually turning to dust and dropping into the tape machine, leaving bare plastic spots on the tape, and silence in the corresponding sections of the new recording.” (William Basinski, writing for WQXR)

Basinski is also set to perform Disintegration Loops in London, assisted by the London Contemporary Orchestra, this coming Sunday 12th August, as part of Antony’s Meltdown Festival. Details & tickets here.

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