The purpose of music, Anthony Burgess wrote, is to promote “ecstatic consciousness” — which we think was the Clockwork Orange author’s way of saying that it takes your brain to a place it can’t get to on its own. While some songs achieve this effect with a barrage of instruments and electronic trickery, today’s selection demonstrates that music can also get you into a totally different head space using an absolute minimum of resources.
The four songs on Walled Gardens, the mini-album by itsnotyouitsme (sorry, that’s their name and how they spell it), are the definition of understatement: no lyrics, and only a handful of instruments and musical themes, repeated over and over for seven or eight minutes at a time. Yet the overall effect is lush and evocative and somehow humane rather than tedious or annoying or dystopian, as if all the sensory distractions were removed from your perception one by one until only the sound of your own mind remained. In any case, it sure beats being subjected, Clockwork Orange–style, to random tortures to the soundtrack of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
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