Alexander Berne’s two-part 100-minute suite Self Referentials, Vols. 1 & 2 does not feel like it deserves to be just self-referential. This is big music. Not in the size of the packaging or the personnel of the Abandoned Orchestra—it just feels larger than itself. It’s even too big to fit into a genre, instantly outgrowing the labels that even its record company, Innova, assigns it; world, ambient, new music, experimental, they all seem so pale. All 29 tracks chillingly retain such distinctive identities while never wavering from the almighty mood established from the first bar. Alexander Berne reasserts his reputation as a composer by capturing this deep mood on paper again and again. Self Referentials? This is all-encompassing. Checkmate, shoegaze.
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