Norman Westberg will be a name familiar to many for his work with Swans from the 1980s to the present day, but his output extends well beyond that group.The New York City-based guitarist has more recently been making a name for himself via a reissue series on Lawrence English’s Room40 label. ‘The Chance To’ is his first new music recorded since 2016’s ‘The All Most Quiet’ album on the Hallow Ground label.
Many listeners to Westberg’s solo recordings have noted the depth and subtlety of his compositions and these four tracks are no exception.They have a rare ability to echo both the clarity of minimalism and the maximal intensity of the best overdriven rock bands. Opening track ‘Andrea F’ is a case in point, moving from clashing overtones to an almost-choral central section before introducing pitched bass tones that move the track into a new realm. There are moments elsewhere that have an unsettling quality, but the patience and care taken with the sounds ensures the album as a whole retains a warm humanity rather than moving into alienating territories. Fundamentally, there is always a lightness of touch to Westberg’s compositions.
PRAISE FOR PAST NORMAN WESTBERG RELEASES
‘Jasper Sits Out’ (Room 40, 2017; reissue of 2014 release)
Tiny Mixtapes:“Gently lapping waves of sustained harmonic undulations.”
Brainwashed:“Gifted in the arts of nuance, restraint, and patience.Westberg is secretly one of the strongest minimalist composers of his generation.”
‘MRI’ (Room 40, 2016; reissue of 2012 release)
Cyclic Defrost: “Music designed to be listened to in one complete sitting, where it can really do its work on both your ears and head.”
’13’ (Room 40, 2015; reissue of 2013 release)
MOJO:“Sinister, long-form drone works; chilly soundtracks for lone trips into the frozen north.”
ABOUT THE PACKAGING
LCR010 comes housed in LCR's standard hand-printed letterpress packaging (printed by Red Plate Press) with CD wrap and digital collage cover by K. Craig.