Album Review

Greenlee, Shawn – “Nysa ” – [Utech]

Thurston Hunger   1/4/2007   A Library, CD

Another noisy colossus from Rhode Island. Greenlee often rides as
Sparklehorse as well as part of the duo Landed. Utech always means live
improvised sound, but the nature of Greenlee’s jacked-up, jacked-in
electronics means that this sounds as crisp as a newborn speaker. All
“songs” track, and chaos reigns supreme on this release. Some interesting
work is done in the lower tone zones, hum, buzz and whoosh beneath the
more surface-to-air attack. At the forefront, it’s the sound of needles
pinning to their max, very shrill drilling, not far off a maniacal dentist
migrating up from the gums to the crown of the skull. That bright ticktick
tickticktick that won’t gogogogo away. Some wild knob spins as well.
Fascinating songtitles too, several of which have to deal with sorts of
sooth-saying, while having nothing to do with soothing-playing! The title
may refer to the mountain where Dionysus was raised and later invented
wine-making? Or is it a river in Poland?? Anyways, of the sounds here.
“Auguraculum” has a nice period where the up-front needling drops off and
the undertone drones rise. Similarly, “Vinedresser” which starts off with
icy precision, does drop into rhythmic respites where the high-end assault
ceases fire for awhile, note that track ends with a Watergate-like 10
seconds of cold silence…just when I was hoping for some Alan Vega style
augury to be dropped on top.

-Thurston Hunger

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