Reviews: 2/2005

938 image 1

>>> Key

  • . Frozen In Time (10 Below)
  • . . On Thin Ice (Playable)
  • . . . Icebreaker (Solid)
  • . . . . Sonic Ice (Repeat)
  • . . . . .Avalanche (Classic)


  • DAVE PHILLIPS :: /////
  • CD :: Ground Fault
  • . . .

    938 image 2 :: Field recordings of chirping birds and rushing water go to my head, my
    heart, deeper still. But what differentiates them besides for the
    moment in time, the rhythm of the moment? Well in the case of the
    latest by Dave Phillips, expect the unexpected as the lilting ambience
    turns to something of a distorted torture chamber in a flippant,
    immediate way. Creating a collage of pasted parts that conceal just
    enough and expose the way say, The Gerogerigegege (Juntaro Yamanouchi)
    does, with quirky voice like interactive happenings and other
    dramatics. Phillips crams 99, mostly micro-short, pieces into one
    full-on 74-minute adventure – some tracks are pauses with pure
    silence, others are tape rewinds and silly sounds ala Woody
    Woodpecker. So, maybe this is for the birds after all.


  • GOEM :: ATAK005
  • CD :: Atak
  • . . . . .

    938 image 3 :: Bubbling cauldron of microgroove with a static-smooth-sheen finish.
    Goem is back and has seemingly reinvented their sound, or filtered it
    thoroughly, it just pops sublimely. On eleven untitled tracks my
    brain is wracked and attacked by the inherent pure funkiness. It’s
    like a building domino-effect, growing, pulsating like subdued space
    invaders just kicking back on some weird weed. This has got to be the
    pinnacle of anything I have yet heard from these godfathers of noisy
    micro-acoustics. The perfect rumble of bass drone blends
    serendipitously with a tweaky bird-like pitch like guitar tuning
    feedback. With one foot in an 80s arcade and the other in some mad
    CAD lab at MIT, it’s a very fresh sound.


  • CD :: Atak
  • . . . . .

    938 image 4 :: Stark and twinkling, this threesome seems to collaborate as a seamless
    unit with each track melting into the next with no obvious
    punctuation. This is minimal as minimal, accessorized by its raw,
    static impulses and flat-line drone fill. Something is in the air
    tonight, but I am unsure if it’s safe to step outdoors. It’s
    something of a wintery record, chilly and softly distant. It conjures
    up an abandoned space, a place not quite mapped. Free particles float
    about, fiery in a moment’s glance, remote the next. The stillness is
    a bit unnerving; the collected chaos is all in the science of silence.


  • SCANNER :: The Radiance of a Thousand Suns Burst Forth At Once
  • CD :: Steamin’ Soundworks
  • . . . .

    938 image 5 :: As a commission to celebrate a June 2004 marriage of friends in the
    Netherlands, this Scanner composition is broken into seven pieces that
    are something of a departure, radiant, indeed. Quiet, almost illusory
    guitars strewn through “Walk Gently Through the World” have the
    eclipse of a romantic rite of passage, a procession of sorts, a
    precursor, like organ music before an event. The themes are dramatic,
    the music opens up and rushes through on “One Flesh, One Home, One
    Heart”. The heavens open on the totally full-spectrum soundtrack
    recording of “Silent Unspoken Memories” and somehow it is just
    uplifting and sad at the same time – sort of like a sun shower in the
    middle of New Mexico. There’s something visionary here, it’s like
    Rimbaud’s experimenting in the capture of an eclipse or something
    haphazardly genius. For a moment I drifted off and thought I was
    dreaming of Taxi Driver – the music is that of a gritty futuristic


  • STEPHEN MATHIEU :: The Sad Mac
  • CD :: Headz
  • . . .

    938 image 6 :: It’s contemporary chamber music with the assistance of a large roster of
    notable accompanying players. The Sad Mac starts out with overtly
    gray tonal zones, it is a melancholy mix of geometric aural striations
    that just pulls and pulls as featured on “Theme For Oud
    Ammeliesweerd.” Spring birds sing, organs swoon, and randomness bring
    together peaceful harmonics that are dry, yet fairly subdued. As the
    piano keys are struck on “Imagination” it’s like an aural dissension of
    an elongated staircase, drooping, falling, all slowly, elegantly. Is
    this what Duchamp once painted? It glides effortlessly, like a
    fragile young bird taking its first confident flight, awkwardly
    asserting its independence. Nature mixes with technology, at points
    clashing like annoying flies to farm animals in Summer, but the
    mélange of worlds makes it all the more edgy and draws a sense of
    superfluousness to the charted outsider territory Mathieu treads
    beyond here. Like a live soundtrack, performed for an audience in a
    grande theatre, The Sad Mac is a collection of bits and pieces that
    have been worked together based on photographs, fragmentations and
    various types of collaborations – but flows like one long, beautiful

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