For his 6th CD, the season of Winter is Bryan Carrigan's collaborator. He negotiates with it, as it is a force from outside of him, and the deal struck has been called, Fall Into Winter (73'19"). The overall feel of this album coveys an impressive range of expression, indicating Carrigan's restraint, vigor or sonic abandon. The 12 tracks contained on Fall Into Winter each exert a beautiful pull upon the listener. Tuning into the quieter frequencies and tones we may fully feel a heart-swelling comfort. The beautiful pull of this work's smart arrangements, gentle propulsion and skilled production values artfully places one under its spell. Using piano, breathing electric guitar, lush synthesizer pads, gentle percussion sounds and an impressive array of acoustic samples and instruments, Carrigan renders a full chill experience - ranging from the still forms of sound collage to majestic and reverential odes to frost, snowflakes and ice. Contemplative moments leap into more dramatic spaces, then onto another musical elsewhere - all against an over saturated digital present day. While most of Fall Into Winter presents exemplary examples of Carrigan's most mellowly imagined, composed and directed songs, the enlarged concluding track directs our attention inwardly - where it expands. This last piece cannot be consumed in the manner of the concisely composed previous 11. For Carrigan, it fills an overdue need - to realize a sonic experiment as an intellectual montage. For us, we get to hear what lies beyond the world of rules. Using a tone tool modular contraption, the sounds he found seem to have been waiting out there to be discovered - as well as the more fragile form of music that this exercise may produce. This process cohabitates atmospheric savvy, technological prowess and an incited form - in a muted luster of rumbling oscillations, against lengthening hiemal shadows. These fine points become much clearer once we examine them closely, and may make the experience that much richer. A great deal of Electronic Music is about experimental pursuit, but this one is luminous with its actual presence. From impassioned slow movement to an eloquent intensity, we find a brilliant work we had no right to expect.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 31 December 2015