William Basinski (1958) is an American avant-garde composer and musician.
Born in Texas, he studied saxophone and composition at university in the ’70s, before developing his own musical style using tape loops and reel-to-reel tape decks. In August and September 2001, he set to work on what would become his most recognizable piece, the four-volume album The Disintegration Loops. The recordings were based on old tape loops which had degraded in quality. While attempting to salvage the recordings in a digital format, the tapes slowly crumbled and left a timestamp history of their demise.
His four-volume series The Disintegration Loops was named one of the best albums of the 2000s by Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, and others, performed by orchestras around the world, and inducted into the National September 11 Memorial Museum in 2012. In 2020, he released his solo album Lamentations, and SPARKLE DIVISION’s To Feel Embraced, his collaborative project with Preston Wendel.