Originally released on KENDRA STEINER EDITIONS (kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com
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RAMBUTAN (aka Eric Hardiman) has been a heavy-hitter in the drone/noise/electro-acoustic/sound-art (there’s no good name for what Rambutan does, is there? How about Rambutan music?) world for a number of years, and when you add to his Rambutan work his powerful performances in Burnt Hills and Century Plants, his work as label head for Tape Drift imprint, and his work organizing and putting on shows with the Albany Sonic Arts Collective (Albany has been a very happening place for a number of years), it’s amazing how much Mr. Hardiman single-handedly contributes to the experimental music world…BUT he’s best known for his Rambutan recordings and performances, and KSE is very proud to welcome him back to our label (he had a 3″ release, “Age of None,” in 2010) with a beautiful and diverse new album, REMEMBER ME NOW. You never know what to expect from Rambutan, master of electronics and guitar feedback and the like, but this album is quite atmospheric, using tape manipulation (in a way that’s sometimes reminiscent of Matt Krefting, and there’s no higher praise than that in my book) and subtle percussion and electronic shading, creating tracks that seem to evoke (for me at least) cold midnight landscapes in rural New York State but with a touch of alien presence. It’s very much a 3 a.m. album, perhaps enjoyed best by candlelight and with the window open. It’s also a very painterly album. Snatches of overheard, out-of-context conversation drift in and out on one track, as if a few people are walking across the landscape that is the music, fading into the scene, fading out of it. And don’t worry…there IS melting guitar feedback here (it IS Rambutan, after all), but it’s muted, in pastels–one track, “Kill The Lights,” could be a Fripp and Eno out-take (and again, as with the Krefting reference above, there’s no higher praise than that in my book). There’s also some electric bass-rooted explorations, bringing to mind the work of Russ Alderson/Xanthocephalus.
REMEMBER ME NOW is also very well thought-out and programmed AS AN ALBUM. The various tracks come forward and pull back gradually like waves on the shore. They fit together but highlight different aspects, like a suite of 11 (there are 11 tracks on the album) different paintings on sonic display. And the title track, the last track on the album is truly heartbreaking—-not a word I use often with instrumental music (maybe, over the years, I have used the word to describe pieces by Chet Baker, or Mahler, or Paul Bley). It does use a vocal sample, but distorts/melts it in such a way that it functions as atmosphere. Suddenly, as with the first rays of pre-dawn light cracking through a distant horizon reminding us that there WILL be another day, the album is over….and you will surely be pushing the “repeat” button and playing this fine album over…and over. RAMBUTAN—-REMEMBER ME NOW