Album of the Day: log(m) & Laraaji, “The Onrush Of Eternity”

 

Laraaji is best known as one of ambient music’s great masters, but he’s no stranger to the world of dub. His mastery of instruments, from mbira and zither, melded perfectly with the Japanese dub group Audio Active on 1994’s collaborative LP The Way Out Is The Way In, a strong record that also revealed Laraaji’s surprising talent as an MC. That year also marked the debut effort from log(m), or Legion Of Green Men, the long-running dub and IDM duo of brothers Lex and Rew MacCrimmon. The two projects have traveled on their respective orbits ever since, but have now aligned for The Onrush Of Eternity, an epic collection condensing a decade of studio jams into three airily elastic LPs.

Laraaji’s best work in recent memory have often spoken to his collaborative spirit. Last year’s full-length Arrive Without Leaving, with synth trio Dallas Acid, was a high point, and his frequent work with partner Arji OceAnanda has shone both when it comes to music and their laughter therapy workshops. On Eternity, his classic instrumentation melts into log(m)’s spaciest indulgences; many of the best tracks, such as opener “Daisy Fields” and “Sruthi Box Resonance,” are mirrored by dub versions (“Daisy Dub” and “Sruthi Dub Resonance”). Throughout the album’s massive 90-minute-plus runtime, the more untethered dub versions play first, allowing the album to steadily expand, contract, and repeat in focused, breathlike bursts. (To that reminiscent, respiratory end, Laraaji’s iconic laughter drives the LP’s standout track “Sunken Forest,” its sharpened vocalization samples cutting through dense riddim webs with ease.)

Though The Onrush Of Eternity offers a supremely chill experience regardless of format, it’s arguably at its best when experienced as a sustained work: all six sides of its physical three-LP format play en suite, ad infinitum. This mode of listening showcases one of log(m)’s calling cards, the “eternal opuscules”: locked, eternally-looping grooves the duo have tucked into releases since their earliest 12”s. On vinyl, each side ends with errant fragments that completely eliminate the automatic reset of the needle—a framing that casts The Onrush Of Eternity as a potentially-endless bout of escapism, rather than a mere assemblage of tracks.

-Miles Bowe

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