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What KFJC has added to their library and why...

WLISPS – “Plurals” – [Impko Records]

WLISPS is, as far as I can find, a one person project of sounds and video imagery, that person being Malaki Stahl. Out on the ever elusive IMPKO records from Seattle, WLISPS’ release, “Plurals” is a nine track exploration of many things experimental electronic. Soundscapes for sure and each track is surprisingly different yet comfortingly familiar. Do not be mistaken and think this is easy listening. No it is not, yet it is not noise either. Thoughtful, thought out deconstructions of sound, synthesized and digitally manipulated playing on chance outcome. Some tracks have beats with sounds floating around, up front and behind. Others are filled with drone and rhythm together. Stretched out coils, crunchy buzziness, distorted radio signals or not, machinery or was that nature. You think you know what it is then it is gone or twisted. “Plurals” is a generous helping of electronic fun.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on March 31, 2014 at 11:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Dhow – “Amara” – [Inam Records]

    Ryan Huber of Sujo and Olekranon appears on this second full length solo project as the creator of what he calls “dronegaze.” He uses guitars, drums, and a variety of noisy sounds including popping and scraping to offer an array of tracks that range from harsher drone to more soothing gaze. It’s all fairly enjoyable and well worth listening to.

  • Reviewed by humana on March 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Weiss, Dan – “Fourteen” – [Pi Recordings]

    Weiss’s virtuosity as a jazz drummer and composer is in evidence here on this amazing release that took him at least two years to compose. Along with his usual trio mates Jacob Sacks on piano and Thomas Morgan on acoustic bass, there are numerous other musicians adding voice, sax, trombone, tuba, harp, glockenspiel, organ, electric and classical guitar. The result is a thoroughly pleasurable experience of jazz smooth enough to be accessible but edgy enough to accommodate improvisational tastes. Just when you think it’s going to be quiet, the rhythms change and get your blood moving in the best way possible.

  • Reviewed by humana on March 30, 2014 at 9:32 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • LHD – “Limbs of The Fawn” – [Misanthropic Agenda]

    lhd_large

    One massive wreck of audio-erosion from noise-sadist Sissy John Wiese and the Cherry on top Phil Blankenship. Unremitting destruction of feedback walls en masse spewing clouds of static so opaque the tempestuous swirls of motion become near invisible. Forced-entry stimulus so pervasive screaming voices, pounding drums, warped radio signals all manifest either in the imagination or inaudibly. A mountainous implosion of distortion that will likely cause severe damage if endured in its longevity. Listen at your own risk.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 30, 2014 at 8:56 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Koo Koo Kanga Roo – Whoopty Whoop [Asian Man/Fun Fun]

    Go to omfgdogs.com. Whether or not you find that site amusing or obnoxious should determine whether or not you’ll like this album. This is children’s music for adults that watch Yo! Gabba! Gabba! or Adventure Time in various states of inebriation. This is Tim Hiedecker directing Sesame Street*. Whoopty whoop is the stupid-catchy major key pop hooks from the last 5 years of top 40 music conjoining with the ??stupid-catchy major key indie punk hooks that I stereotypically associate with Asian Man infantilized into some paradigm between the music from Adventure Time and Wesley Willis-esque post-ironic-pop-dada. “All I Eat is Pizza” revamps the stark junkie storytelling of The Velvet Underground for the Nick Jr. demographic. “Pogo” is for people that secretly enjoyed ??that Icona Pop song from last year (“I don’t care…I love it”) but would rather play a song about riding a pogo stick off a diving board. “Shake it Well” sounds kinda like Das Racist and is about orange juice. In general, every song plays out approximately like one could infer from the song titles, so have fun. I suggest playing this song between harsh noise or grindcore cuts for maximum discomfort.

    *while still keeping it kid friendly

  • Reviewed by thewindow on March 30, 2014 at 9:42 am
  • Filed as A Library
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  • 2:3 – Oswald Wiener Zum 65. Geburtstag [coll] – [Suppose]

    This collection is a tribute to Oswald Wiener, a post WW2 Austrian Writer/Musician who was one of the pioneers of concrete poetry aka poetry where words and dialects are used to evoke sounds and shapes more so than meaning (think a verbal analogue of musique concrete*). Most of these cuts are concrete poems in Austrian German with varying degrees of acoustic instrumental accompaniment or glitchy electronic manipulation. If you listen to these tracks more as acapella noise music then the result is some solid deep-listening/meditation music. Taken on their own, I would consider most of these cuts to be too abstract to fully engage the average schmuck during their evening commute. I would recommend instead mixing them with something hella atmospheric like Lustmord or Julianna Barwick.

    Some exceptions would include the Mouse on Mars cut, which bridges the gap between Musique Concrete and spastic IDM a la Venetian Snares. Another exception would be the Nihlist Spasm Band jam which sounds like some 20th century avant-improv dude like Derek Bailey half-heartedly trying to make something Anarcho-Punks would like. The Wolfgang Muller selections sound like fucked up children’s music** with super off-kilter rhythmic phrasing.

    Track six is the only concrete poem in English and is the audio equivalent of watching PBS shows that you don’t understand because they look cool.

    *Wiener and associates however were unaware of what Parisian comrades like Pierre Henri were doing at the time

    **fucked up in sound, not content.

  • Reviewed by thewindow on March 30, 2014 at 9:03 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Three Thirds – “Buffalo Skinner: a Tribute to Woody Guthrie” – [Self Released]

    Sweet harmonies, sour tales…four people make up Three Thirds, living
    in the Woody Guthrie songbook and working in Southern California.
    Cowboys and outlaws dot the landscape, along with the bleached bones
    of a crooked drover. The chamber saloon approach works exceptionally
    here, Alex Wand while at the forefront with guitar and his innocent
    man’s vocals in a guilty world, truly needs his accomplices. Claire
    Chenette may be the secret weapon with oboe and english horn, one
    can sputter with blood, the other shine like an angel’s halo.
    Similarly, Heather Lockie’s viola can careen like a getaway car
    on “Pretty Boy Floyd” or skip blythely through the willows to
    her jilted lover’s grave. Both ladies pitch in singing with campfire
    purity. Jake Rosenzweig is forbidden from singing on this, but
    gets some whooping in and his bass is a backbone that brooks no
    shivers. Listen to him bow open “Ranger’s Command.” The title
    track will given Cormac McCarthy night terrors, it’s a hauntingly
    beautiful cautionary tale. Thoroughly enjoyable listen, and best
    of all it artfully illuminates Woody Guthrie’s genius. High
    praises at noon, or anytime. This band is your band.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm
  • Filed as CD,Country
  • 1 comment
  • Bozulich, Carla – “Boy” – [Constellation]

    Most of the songs here are as slow as an executed man’s steps up
    to the gallows, and just as full of dark thoughts. Carla’s voice
    as always commands attention, especially in these ten cuts often
    anchored by nothing more than a trenchant bass line and some art
    trash percussion. Is she a drunk ghost missing her former life
    as a Delta bluesman? Is she M. Gira’s guardian angel? Don’t know
    but she’s one of the most consistently creative singer/songsters
    going for my blood money these days. Dig the tranquilized madman
    harmonies to her voice on “Don’t Follow Me” with the silhouette
    of a Hammond B3. Great use of dappled guitar, fritzy electronics
    and other odds and ends to splash a little color in these often
    stark numbers. She’ll stick a phrase in and turn it like a blade
    “Yes, the hole is deeper than the well” or spit out gems like
    “the part-time tarantula” or “I just want to feel your skin (with)
    that smoothest part of my shy heart.” She sings songs with near
    religious fervor, but baptised in a strip club “Danceland” or
    in the serial killer’s diary “Gonna Stop Killing”. Gaelic hymn
    twirl to “Drowned to the Light.” With her malleable voice, she
    may not be every woman, but she’s plenty and more than a few men.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Lama – “Oneiros” – [Clean Feed]

    One of my favorites of a purchase from the fantastic Clean Feed
    label that got lost in the KFJC shuffle for a spell.(Yes, still
    hoping the Cleaners will Feed us future promo.) This is a killer
    release. A three piece led by Susana Santos Silva, her use of
    electronics in addition to her trumpet work is just about pitch
    perfect. Somewhat reminscent of the Chicago Underground work of
    Mazurek/Taylor+, Lama add perfect amounts of digital spice and
    analog grit to their pieces. Double bassist Goncalo Almeida also
    brings some circuit bending to the mix, and I can really see a
    lot of the eclectic electronic DJ’s using these pieces to mix
    things up. “Alguidar” starts off with crackle and glitch, like
    old vinyl or new Raster Norton. Pieces like “Overture for
    Penguins” start out dark, but work through to effervescence.
    Silva darting in high, but then get low and wild like a
    digeridoo as Almeida rebuilds the cycle of a bassline.
    “Tarantino” is a dark sort of FSOL flavored ambient jazztronic
    landscape. Greg Smith is the percussionist here, he can be a
    cool rider on the cymbals and hi-hat, as on “Dr. No” which has
    some mighty mute from Silva. On the title track, Smith pretty
    much melodically rolls the piece all the way through, with
    perfect bass sync from Almeida and Silva arcs a melody atop it
    all. Very minimal electronics on that, but perfectly placed.
    Like Toshinori Kondo’s work, there’s a spark to this that’s
    going to light up a lot of ears. Do not miss.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Sacred Product – “Wastex” – [Quemada Records]

    Dude, head choogling boogie rock and in a 2X7″ format (which
    online promo sapiens refer to as an “unfairly maligned” format).
    What?!?! Man someone needs to malign their own business, 2X7 is
    this side of KFJC heaven. Sacred Product is Australian Lynton Denovan
    and he is a guitarist who finds a killer riff and then rides
    it on the rails from station to station. Each song here I
    think is like 49 minutes which is pretty good for a 7″ record.
    Lynton does it all here, which for the vocals ends up being
    a double effort, as he has that spoken, multi-tracked indie
    insistent catchy sneer. I assume that’s him on the drums as
    well, just about busting a live not hip-hop sampled groove on
    “Tram and Train” and even more so on the killer “Ride Back.”
    Hmmmm, maybe there is a theme of taking public transportation
    on ping-pong rides (with these songs driving, the mileage
    is good). Really solid no frills rock here, in fact it is
    maybe anti-frills. Bitter lyrics taken from window seat
    watching the garbage truck and ornamental churches blur by.
    Lynton does it all, including the cover art apparently,
    maybe a self portrait with Ron Jeremy tendencies?

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Ending/Returning [coll] – [Immune Recordings]

    By my ears, Steven R. Smith is one of the most intense emotional
    conjurers within the confines of KFJC’s library. He should be
    scoring major motion pictures, not just the minor post-midnight
    moments in our ceiling-staring lives. This release provides a
    Bruce Wayne/Batman view of Steven and his Ulaan Khol project.
    Two black vinyl records constitute a mirror world for seven
    sound-Smith’d songs. I almost wonder if the Ulaan Khol were
    born first. They bristle with electric rage, thickened by
    a mix of distortion and perservering hope. That is the blood
    essence of Ulaan Khol. Scaling craggy instrumental peaks
    held in place by six mere strings and a humbucking drive.
    Even in that more electric territory, Steven always has a
    pastoral air to his playing. This time around a few gusts
    of Kraut Rock blow through his fractal branches of chords.
    Even without the pedals blazing, on the Steven R. Smith
    A/B sides, there’s a manifest sense of the Old West. Where
    the Ulaan Kolh is more raw and immediate, the multiple
    layers on the Smith sides deliver a fuller and more pensive
    sound. Is that clarinet in the mix, or a more gently
    processed guitar (ebow to the soul?). Piano does drop
    some watery notes into these versions. But still there is
    a desolation of the desert, a half hour before sun stroke.
    A horse has thrown its rider in each of these records,
    the tracks are the same on each, but on the first, we
    see the vantage of the rider, dusted and eyes skyward
    while on the second record, we are the horse, racing
    worstward towards the sun.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Mattin – “Songbook 5″ – [Disembraining]

    Fives are wild. I’m surprised Mattin didn’t change his
    name to Matin for this. Five musicians, five songs,
    five minutes each, recorded in the fifth month of
    last year. As with the excellent Billy Bao “Building
    from Bilbao” a Fun House fritz out, the “blender” here
    is hugely important. Separate ingredients from Mattin,
    Joel Stern, Andrew McLellan, Alex Cuffe and Dean Roberts
    (the last gent we have in our library under his own
    name as well as White Winged Moth and Thela). It
    sounds like their sources, as well as some found
    recordings (or forced ones, not sure where the couple
    on the concluding track were nabbed from). Inputs
    extracted in response to song titles (please note
    they are all five words for bonus points on this
    assignment). At least that is the alleged plan, but
    with Mattin anything is possible and all truths can be
    better lies. The lyrics push a thesis of self-renunciation
    is self-exploration, and “a free spirit needs to be
    captured” (sung/slurred in inimitable Mattin fashion!).
    Hamster wheels spin, and we are trapped inside/outside
    John Cage’s world. Plenty of guitars, careening off
    the mixing blender’s blades, a analog bop of “Love
    Will Keep Us Together” comes apart inside the first track
    maybe? A sense of collision overrides collaboration.
    That last track is the most stark, are we in a
    college laundromat or a philosophy club? Is there a
    difference? Deconstruction is done, and construction
    is king. More punk than any punk record going these
    days. Interesting label, and a name for a label with
    a release like this which pits physical clashing with
    metaphysical hash. Long five Matin.

    -Thrst Hungr

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Due Process – “Combine XXIII-XXXV” – [Phage Tapes]

    Might as well call this OverDue Process, potentially the third
    or later installment but the first to make it to KFJC, and in a
    way make it from KFJC. Some of the source sounds here were shot
    out on KFJC’s signal back on Dec 10th, 2005 when Emil Beaulieu
    (nee RRRon Lessard) swung by our station, surely with KFJC
    ally Thomas Dimuzio at his side. Those two gents, along with
    John Wiggins constitue the Due Process-ors, who for 20
    years have ping-ponged sound through the mail, the internet
    and their sonic intestines. Of some note, especially on
    side B, Zanstones wheeze-weaves some Kentucky squeeze box
    into the mix. Quite nice as the processing here often as
    a sort of inhaling kind of rhythm/wave to it. The first
    side has insects bouncing off tiny springs or so it sounds
    to me, some underwater reverb too. I think Wiggins brings
    plenty of percussion into his mixes. Felt like lingering
    organ to was involved, but it is all probably switches,
    pedals and synth in various guises. The last three
    tracks on side B are apparently the source material,
    the very last being the most mellow, but far from a
    drone. Burstiness seemed to be a recurring motif, and
    maybe more humor than one might expect. Although online
    I found their “Future Flashback” which was a cool
    audio cartoon crowded with folks. This is more
    subdued with industrial shades, but again a light
    almost humorous touch. Noise plays, not slays.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Brotman & Short – “Distance Unknown” – [Chondritic Sound]

    On the Max & Mara project, Max Brotman showcased a florid
    and varied approach of synths (with help from Mara of
    course). Here we’ve got some monomaniacal mad scientist
    keyboard work, old skull equipment, pitch wheel dementia,
    gritty buzz waves sawing at the ears, in short a raw,
    authentic recall of synth punk. Drum machines smack songs
    along, and those songs like to work with inverting riffs or
    half-step melody slides. Vocals are deader than dead pan,
    with a slight hint of anger and disgust. What I expect
    will be the first emotion a robot will feel. If you don’t
    like the singing, your loss but there are four factory
    tested instrumentals (oddly labeled with Roman Numerals
    instead of SCCS versions). From those I and II have a
    nifty pong-gone-wrong break out beat. The title track
    may multiply your Joy Division sensors. I’m actually not
    sure where Brotman leaves off and Jesse Short starts,
    so that’s the sign of a pretty aligned pairing. My
    kids are into the video game “Portal 2″ to me this
    album captures how it might really feel to be in such
    a world. Anthems for the digital dystopia.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:05 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Wormsblood – Mastery of Creation Demos – [Barbarian Records]

    This 3 in one album split my face into 3 parts. The first part (Bad Beaten Demos 2008) being badass and tantric. the second (Odal Demos 2006) being garage like and creepy. the third (The Grave Kill Demos) being hilarious and terrifying. I started this record on the wrong side by accident! It came faced the wrong way in the album. Did the band pack it this way? Did someone else? Writing this review now…I feel terrified by the trickery. This began my terrifying journey into this albums heart.

    Regardless, each album had recurring themes/instruments/sounds. My favorite being a crazed witche scream. This scream haunts me as I write this. I swear a REAL WITCH is screaming into this microphone. I have no doubts. I also heard a dog barking several times in each record. That dog had to have done that by accident! They must have just kept his barking. The dog was yelling at the ancient witch spirits.

    The beginning of the newest sect of the album (the front side) was comical at first. Cheesy harmonized guitars like some sort of BRO showdown. I started to get depressed when the last part of the side redeems itself hard! The end really makes you feel like you’re dying. But its the kind of death that gives you resolve.

  • Reviewed by mrpantsfancy on March 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library
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  • Novy Svet – “Doce” [Kill Shaman]

    Do you think that sometimes sitting around being sad can sometimes be a lot of fun? The songs on this retrospective from Viennese band Novy Svet are vaguely Industrial/Folk jams that are gloomy sounding but also a good time. While I would initially recommend this album to the livelier fans of Angels of Light or Current 93???s ???Black Ships Ate the Sky??? album, the album is actually a far more eclectic pastiche where instruments genres and influences are pulled from all corners of the galaxy. My vibe is that of Brian Wilson scoring a Major Hollywood film where most people die and a few people go crazy. Even the industrial and drone elements are integrated into suave acoustic jams with a nonchalant????grace that you wouldn???t question if it used the employees-only bathroom. ???Punished with Longing??? if you like salvation army bands, ???Esperando De Luna??? for fans of Serge Gainsbourg, ???Titan??? for happy-go-lucky descent into madness and ???Fin Finito Infinio??? for sci-fi alien abduction jams.

  • Reviewed by thewindow on March 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm
  • Filed as Format,12-inch,A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Hampson, Robert – “Signaux” – [Editions Mego]

    eMEGO148.1-350

    2012 Editions Mego Records release featuring two sidelong aural explorations generated from Analogue Electronics Systems Recordings by Robert Hampson (Loop, Main, Godflesh). After relocating to Paris from his native London, he fell into the influence of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM), which was originally formed in 1958 by musique concrete pioneer Pierre Schaeffer. There he followed the paths of such revolutionaries as Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bernard Parmegiani, and, especially, Francois Bayle. It was Bayle’s concept of “acousmatics” (“anything can be musical, that absolutely anything can have a musical tonality about it, and about how sound can be abstracted and changed”) that inspired his recent focus on processed electronic music compositions performed through multi-channel live sound diffusion installations.

    Signaux 1 (17:56) is a 2 channel mix of an 8 channel diffusion commissioned by Planetarium ECM Mendes Poitiers, France. A neoteric approach to classic electronic music…tones, bleeps, blips, skips, chirps, buzzes, hums, gurgles, squeaks, squiggles….as if a vast web of machine intelligence is gradually awakening, and stimulating an electronic forest of insects and primordial creatures.

    Signaux 2 (18:02) is a new studio composition that shares some aesthetic similarities to Signaux 1, yet generates more of a vigorous droning noise floor amongst the itinerant hiss, sweep, crackle and glurp of the disparate sonic artifacts.

     

  • Reviewed by Roland Blunt on March 26, 2014 at 4:52 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Gog – “Ironworks” – [Utech Records]

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    2012 Utech Records release from Arizona native Michael Bjella (Wellington, Unrah, Black Hell) aka Gog. This album, Ironworks, was inspired by a blacksmith shop with origins that date back to the late 19th Century, a place where some of his ancestors once slogged away. Bjella utilizes manipulated samples of blacksmith and machinery recordings mixed with guitar, keyboards, and voice to forge six tracks of neo-industrial music with shreds of dark ambience, noise, doom and black metal. Track 1…soaring feedback washes over submerged blast beat with licks of piano. Track 2…cyclical noise drone with clashes of guitar and drudgery. Track 3…rising strains that are enveloped by a drone storm. Track 4…feedback grime disintegrating a rapt piano. Track 5…spasmodic mindscrape of exploited toils. Track 6…smithy upsets a untried nebulae.

     

  • Reviewed by Roland Blunt on March 26, 2014 at 4:51 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Noise Nomads – “Ernest Thrasher” – [Feeding Tube Records]

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    Newest bit of vapid voyeurism from vagabond diva Jeff Hartford. Squirkle squirting wanker warbling and screaching rhythmic monotony of the serraded variety. Leakblower slapback and powerdrill percussion that goes all artcade apocalypse. Side B picks up the pandemonium with peanut prickle pops and poops and pickled pornographic uproar. Thizzle sizzle listener losing ear ant-agonizing audio annoyance.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 24, 2014 at 1:42 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Sec_ – “Outflow” – [Den Records]

    outflow_packaging

    Solo project of Neopolitan electro-acoustician Mimmo Napolitano and his Revox tape recorder with feedback electronics. Opening track Sends tonal disruption and static eruptions to unlock dusty corridors of the mind’s ear, clearing the path for the erratic sonic Dispersal that ensues. Frayed and scattered circuitry that shatter and break far beyond audible Boundaries with found-sound coin flips, vinyl rips and spoken clips. On our Return to rhythmic rectification the shutter doors open and close in morse codefied sensory retrieval only to Evacuate all signal and space for the light deprived silent leak of black holes Outflowing. A crackling dissection invokes the ruptured Interruption, interjecting then droning gradually to a gliding halt. Trespassing borders of composition and improvisation, analog and digital, manipulation and feedback.

  • Reviewed by abacus on March 23, 2014 at 9:42 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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