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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Per Mission
A Ritual Loop
Monitor Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Per Mission is the much-anticipated solo project from Jason Noble (Rachel's, Shipping News, and Rodan) and A Ritual Loop is that long, distant hallway with the many doors that open his seemingly intangible world. You skip the first entrance to the left, it is too vague to even hint at luminosity and everything tells you to keep on trucking for Jesus. Proceeding through the next door on the right, you find yourself "…Back to the room where the air hums…" and where "…the skin is translucent…", giving you a mere glimpse at the rooms to come; but they are all meshed into one another and your attention deficit disorder kicks in overdrive, pushing you helplessly to the next room. "A Ritual Loop" can very easily be the soundtrack to the perpetual Déjà vu you get while staring down long hallway of Jason Nobles' mind. With Per Mission, you'd swear for a single instant that you were not actually hypnotized by this man's ambience and that none of this ever really happened the first time. But it has, and you proceed with caution to the next door on the left only to find Kyle Crabtree (Shipping News) drumming incessantly and in repetition, with a blank stare in his eyes like a tethered marionette. You'd really like to help him overcome his transient state but you feel like you have made these futile attempts once before, he has motioned for you to leave since he has not the permission to abandon his duties. Your stomach is now churning as you enter the third door to the right, Rachel Grimes is there playing a sullen piano tune and she ignores you completely. A cool draft hits as you close the door and continue down the hallway, only to find yourself "…Back to the room where the air is vibrating…"

For an experiment that takes four years to complete, an outside viewer simply cannot observe the sounds and make a valid judgment of this record in one sitting. A Ritual Loop is not for everybody, and perhaps the reason it is ritualistic is because the observer has to have adhered to these practices, or even been exposed to them at one point, to even grasp the full meaning and intent. Per Mission will draw you closer to the experiment at hand with its ambient flow in such a way that it mimics those fragile routines that you so hate on your everyday basis. In listening to this record, I imagine a stimulus for a coal miner, a factory worker, or a carpenter, that will guide them along through their grueling days work and give them the sense that this will eventually end, complete, a closure of events, despite the monotony in plugging away at a completely disinterested pace. Unlike most records of this nature, albeit trip hop or ambient tracks, the loops of Per Mission are not excessively dragging the listener, or stranding them into oblivion, and this makes ambiguity them all the more intriguing. Beats are in a sort of sleepy-time rhythm and I recommend this record as a safe alternative to name brand over-the-counter sleeping supplements. The voices of Katherine Smith, Liz Mendel, and Digger (excerpted above) all sooth the recording and help ritualize the experience into something that requires the listener to pay attention, a story unfolds in your lap when the sonic landscapes seize your headphones and you close your eyes to rest, the day is over.

Reviewed by June Woons


See other reviews by June Woons

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