In a dream hook-up for Diagonal, Jim O’Rourke reimagines material from the vaults of Alessio Natalizia AKA Not Waving and turns in a magisterial kosmiche synth-scape, backed with a sprawling slab of mazy rhythmic brilliance. O’Rourke has been a long-time admirer of Not Waving, and what started out as more of straight remix project quickly turned into a collaboration-at-a-distance, with Natalizia sending extra material and pushing O’Rourke to stray as far from the original material as possible.
In both parts, he does him proud. ‘Side A’ renders an original chromatic synth knot into a spiralling, heavenly superstructure worthy of comparison with Popol Vuh, before the flip envelopes listeners in a hyper-baroque rave hall of mirrors — all iridescent arps and irregular, automated pulses that refract palatial imaginary spaces.
O’Rourke is, of course, a huge hero to Natalizia and the label, for his work with Sonic Youth, his countless collaborations with everyone from Keiji Haino to Tony Conrad, and the breath-taking breadth of his solo material. It’s something of a coup/blessing/honour, therefore, for Diagonal to present this release with art/packaging from Guy Featherstone that does justice to this meeting of minds.