Sunday, 5 November 2017


BºTong is Chris Sigdell. 2017 has been a busy year for Chris with the release of four BºTong albums. Two on the Spanish 'Hots' label and two for the Swedish 'Reverse Alignment' label.
I was fortunate  to spend a few days with Chris back in October 2013 when Dieter Müh played a couple of dates with BºTong in Hamburg and Bremen. Travelling from gig to gig, from City to City I learnt that Chris is a big "Sci-Fi" fan, he always had his head in a tome of science fiction.

                                            BºTong soundcheck in Hamburg October 2013.

"The Long Journey" is a CD on Reverse Alignment and is Chris's science-fiction novel, conceived and recorded between 2012 and 2016. "The Long Journey" is a sound from deep space in a similar way that Inade, The Anti Group, Arecibo and Lustmord (on the album "The Place Where The Black Stars Hang") capture the sound of deep space.
"The Long Journey" begins with the boarding of an abandoned spacecraft, wide metallic grey spaces with machinery / technology purring and breathing, travelling through the corridors becomes uncertain, chaotic and claustrophobic. Lost transmissions are floating through time. The pulses and drones of deep space appear and the journey begins with the ominous purring and rasping of reawakening machines all around. A storm breaks into the emergent sound. There's a descension into static, the journey speeds up. Panic transmissions like tribal rhythmic pulsars attempt to communicate. Attempted responses are made as the journey continues.
Around 30 minutes into the album and the sound changes, slows down and becomes very menacing. Sounds are beginning to reverse as the static signals become more distressed and the purring of machinery returns. The storm continues and a bell tolls. A melancholic piano brings the end to the long journey, there is stillness as the stars burst all around. There's a sense of all things coming full circle and we are at the point where the long journey will start again.
Like I mentioned, the album plays like a novel. I have played the album a few times now over the weekend and it always seems to have the same storyline.
It is of extremely high quality, as have all the BºTong releases been over the past couple of years.
Released on the same day as this CD was "Monastic", a full length CD also on the Reverse Alignment label, as far as I can make out the two aren't connected. The Spanish label 'Hots' released a vinyl LP "Fractured" and the end of summer ... I have yet to play that, but, again. I don't believe there's any connection it is just that Chris has been a very busy man of late.

"The Long Journey" is available direct from Reverse Alignment at :  (Copy + Paste).


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