A saxophone darts and stabs around buried bass notes and a shimmering alarm – ‘Ankhering’, the first track on Ben Vince’s The Purge, presents the listener with a scene of evident tension, then leaves you awaiting a resolution that never comes. The titles on this already-sold-out Blank Editions cassette, like ‘the Lodge, Ablaze’ or ‘In Range’, conjure an imaginary narrative while the saxophone tone on something like ‘Seb’ reinforces an air of gritty early Eighties drama serials.
Vince’s saxophone technique uses controlled breathing and echoing repetition to create slow-burning tunes where each minor deviation feels like a moment of revelation if not release. I was spellbound, and didn’t come up for air until I’d played the tape over 2-3 times. Vince has mustered a powerful current here, one compelling you to put down pad, pen, people, pages and to dive wholly into his slow river of sound. I think this is the best thing I’ve heard all year.