Eleh: For Moussavi Atrium (Important)
This single, thirty-eight minute drone from Eleh was composed for performance at the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art on September 28, 2013. Much like most of Eleh’s discography, it plumbs the depths of minimalism with a relatively unrivaled austerity. Important Records pressed a mail order-only CD late last year, but the digital version is now available for all to enjoy. I highly recommend listening on a pair of very good headphones with some solitude, ideally. Eleh’s signals are unadorned and subtle, with pulsing waves of sound shifting so slowly that attentive listeners will actually feel the frequency and interference of his minimal sounds shifting in time.
I suppose it’s likely that Eleh’s specific flavor of minimalism is only going to appeal to a particular audience, but I challenge even tentatively adventurous music fans to give this a go on headphones with some quiet focus. Like most good minimal art, it is stripped down to such an extent that even the most minute changes to his droning sinewaves are pronounced, accentuating those subtleties via their sheer starkness. Patient listeners are treated to an undulating wave of sound that eventually evolves into a rapid fire, wild oscillation. But it’s in the final stretch of sound that Eleh strikes gold, with a deep, sub bass drone that burrows its way through to the core, a heady, meditative, consuming field of sound.