A Shadow in Time

William Basinski - A Shadow in Time
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2017 Ratings: #79 / 838
User Score
Based on 170 ratings
2017 Ratings: #201
Liked by 5 people
January 20, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Musex, BMI / Label
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Crack Magazine

With restrained repetition, Basinski’s work reminds us that life is a series of perpetual cycles.

There is so much in the stillness of William Basinski's music, layer upon layer of musical information that finds a richness of harmony and melody in the very immobility it often describes.

Created from damaged and decaying fragments of tape that an old roommate’s cat has partially chewed, Basinski initially reassembled them expecting to hear very little. Instead, what he discovered would end up becoming what is arguably his finest work since ‘The Disintegration Tapes’.

The Line of Best Fit

William Basinski has created yet another outstanding work of art with A Shadow in Time, an audio sculpture of serenity and bliss to begin 2017 and put what was a saddening year for music to bed.

A.V. Club

For the listener who welcomes the space to ponder those contradictory feelings, A Shadow In Time gives you ample room to explore.

Slant Magazine
Together, these two tracks show that Basinski’s technique can yield a wide range of results, something his career has proven beyond doubt but which his individual albums don’t always reveal.
Tiny Mix Tapes
It’s as if Basinski is fully addressing, for the first time in his music, the conflicts that come with being wracked with grief.
Even without knowing anything about Basinski himself or the climate in which he’s created his work, the listener herself would still be able to create their own world around it, such is the power of his music.
Drowned in Sound

Like scattered others through the annals of music history ... Basinski brings to his craft an understanding that music structures time just as much as time structures music. Among his most entrancing work.


His new album A Shadow in Time contains some of his strongest work since The Disintegration Loops introduced the world to the artist.

As ever, Basinski is a master at suspending time, and the album seems to flow by faster than the clock indicates. When it does end, you wonder if you've been taken somewhere, or if you've been changed in some way. The only key to answering these questions is to dive back in.
The Needle Drop

William Basinski returns with one of his most accessible and compositionally satisfying sets of drones yet.

My personal favourite ambient album from 2017. One of the legends best releases since his iconic album, “The Disintegration Loops”. The atmosphere that is created with A Shadow in Time blew me away upon first listen. It has such a unique sound. The loops with the glacial build up of the first track, “For David Robert Jones” is one of my personal favourite ambient tracks of all time. It is also dedicated to David Bowie, who passed away about a year ago at the time this ... read more
No hay muchas vueltas para explicar la esencia que guarda la música de William Basinski, pero a pesar de eso, sin ser una especie de atractivo contundente, es asombroso como sus piezas capturan y despiertan distintas matices que tal vez desconocíamos o no habíamos tenido la oportunidad de haber experimentado – porque de eso todo se trata, de la experiencia.

Tal vez para muchos William Basinski no sea un pilar a parte en estructura, debido a la ausencia de ... read more
"A Shadow in Time", contains 2 songs that are long in length and despite that, are interesting and captive.Thankfully there is progression in these songs, they are not just repetitive and static samples.
" For David Robert Jones" is a kind of tribute to David Bowie.The song is luminous,and feels like it fades slowly.It really doesn't feel like a depressing song, until the last minutes, when from nowhere saxophone music blends with the song which at this point feels like ... read more
The Shadow Washes Upon David Robert Jones
☆☆☆½ — remarkable
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Year End Lists

#18/Crack Magazine
#50/Drowned in Sound

Track List

  1. For David Robert Jones
  2. A Shadow in Time
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Added on: January 11, 2017