broken harbors

Stars of the Lid – “Broken Harbors” (Parts 1, 2 & 3) from The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid (Kranky, 2001)

Tom Jurek, writing for AllMusic, said of this recording:

Having always made records that exist at the margins of descriptive language, this project by Austin, Texas’ most spaced-out duo, Stars of the Lid, is their most ambitious to date, featuring 11 tracks parcelled over two CDs (or three LPs), four of which are multi-part suites. Taking a step further down the road they embarked upon with Avec Laudanum, the duo have expanded the pure space and black hole vistas they offered on Music for Nitrous Oxide and The Ballasted Orchestra to embrace small melodic fragments that seemingly endlessly repeat through minimally varying textures. The effect can either be soothing (“Requiem for Dying Mothers”), hypnotic (“Broken Harbors”), or unsettling (“Austin Texas Mental Hospital”). The trademark analogue guitar/tape cut ups are ever present; what would normally be considered the sound of a guitar is nowhere in aural earshot…

…There is a progression in all the music here, but it is so subtle, so quiet and unintrusive, the listener would have to pay very careful attention to everything that is happening. More realistic, however, is for those who take pleasure in SOTL’s music and inner space explorations — for this truly is a music of the inner terrain — to offer themselves little distraction other than a comfortable chair or resting place in order to let this music enter at will, naturally and expand until it takes you over the edge into something resembling sleep, but far more delicious. Despite its more song-like structures, More Tired Songs is actually for those who are tired of songs, period, and are looking for something less, something unspeakably beautiful and determinedly unmentionable in its vast and luxuriant erasure from any musical category.