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Opening Sweep

It begins with a siren: searching, probing and surrounded by the clattering of electronic noise. A radio's voice (or perhaps its feedback) attempts to intervene. Static. Interference. The atmosphere builds: a piano; a scream. The beats are subtle, fragmented, elusive and out of time. Words fade in and out of focus. 'I began to lose control,' says a voice, drowning.

What then is this 'opening sweep'? A searchlight? Technology? The all-seeing eye? Removing the barricades, brushing away all that's gone before?

And so it continues: growth and decay. 'Just want to get on the outside.' Cut up distorted beats. ('You've overstepped the mark.') Drones and radio. The slowly building, battling rhythms, echoes and noises. And then, finally, it stops.

Opening Sweep is proof again that Lewis fights on the extremes of music with his partners-in-crime. Unlike the drab and uninteresting In Between, we aren't given short, cold glimpses, but the whole story. And this time it works. Haussewolff, Lewis, Huhta and Pfaff take us on an unsettling, yet mesmerising 75-minute journey—a single piece of many leanings or a long opening sweep—yet it passes so quickly you'll wonder if it was ever there.

Much of the music we hear these days makes a claim to be the soundtrack for a post-everything generation. Opening Sweep is the closest we have to a post-apocalyptic one.

Craig Grannell (January, 2001)

Cover artwork