A Shadow in Time

William Basinski - A Shadow in Time
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2017 Ratings: #87 / 898
User Score
Based on 177 ratings
2017 Ratings: #182
Liked by 3 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.

William Basinski is a legendary producer, known for his Disintegration Loops series, which was a project composed of aging tape loops, and A Shadow in Time is composed the same way, in a much more accessible 43 minutes. The album is made up of two pieces, both slightly over 20 minutes each, and both following the same chord progression and repeating loops. The first, "For David Robert Jones", which is a David Bowie tribute, is a very meditative ambient piece, consisting of beautiful ... read more
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
► BEST TRACKS: "For David Robert Jones"
okay, but such high ratings. maybe AOTY = Ambient of the Year
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
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Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, erik, EMR, Gupla

Added on: January 11, 2017