U$ Drone is one of three releases that Ithaca’s Keir Neuringer–operating here under his moniker The Love Story–put out in 2011. This particular release is a refined, almost minimal organ drone routed through effects pedals that patiently unfolds and gently morphs over the course of 35 minutes. This is drone in its classic uncompromising form. It simply exists without the aid of distracting field recordings or gimmicky sound effects. This drone instead demands singular, focused, and prolonged attention.
In a year where drone got cute, Neuringer brings us back to the purist roots of the genre.
U$ Drone is also perhaps a suitable entry point into the broader philosophy of this interdisciplinary artist and multi-instrumentalist. For instance, immediately prior to a performance this past summer at the Back Room in Buffalo Neuringer sat perched at his drum kit, hands at his sides, staring intently at the small chatting audience before him. Patiently, he waited for the conversation within the intimate setting to cease before commencing with his performance. Despite not being the “headliner” Neuringer refused to begin his first song for the audience–the blistering socio-political track “Conquistadors”–until they were focused and, thus, ready.
Something important was about to happen and it demanded their undivided attention.
This 35-minute wave of sound is similar in that its creator makes no attempt to ease the listening experience for you. He does not try to coax you along, hoping to be there when you decide to start paying attention. The drone is here and now and it demands your full attention. No compromises.
As is the case with the rest of Neuringer’s work, regardless of the medium or the musical style, the payoff for the listener is immense if able to oblige.
Review by Jamie Moore