AIDAN BAKER: Pendulum (CD on Gears of Sand)
This release from 2005 offers 53 minutes of guitar manipulations.
All sounds here were produced live on electric guitar, then doubled and the doubling reversed. The result is a dose of haunting and edgy ambience.
Do not expect lightning licks or searing riffs in this music. Feedback and effects are littered throughout the generally long sonic structures. Pulsations vibrate with expanding disposition. Sustains become folded and crooked, resulting in twisted drones that are quite unearthly. Atmospheric clouds roil with strange sonic expressions, evoking distant marshlands cluttered with rusting hulks of discarded machinery. Moody textures are created that glisten with brooding mien, sinking under the skin to saturate your muscles with an electric calm that has every chance of suddenly erupting into manic energy. But the sedation remains passive. Spikes constitute mild warblings amid the seething growl, adequate enough to mark deviations from the steadfast buzz, but hardly strong enough to jar the audience from their stark mesmerization.
Overall, this tuneage blends industrial demeanor with ambient serenity, generating a standing wave twitch whose vibrations remain external.
MICHAEL CHOCHOLAK : Hollow Bodies (CD on Echo Music)
This release from 2005 offers 72 minutes of abstract electronic music.
How can something be atonal if it possesses harmonic resonance? Well, Chocholak tackles that dichotomy with the music on this album, creating stark soundscapes that utilize abstract electronics which exhibit a hint of harmonic presence.
Squealing cybernetic elements and synthetic beats of an erratic nature conspire to generate tuneage that is edgy and often disturbing. The pieces exude a striking alien quality with definite passion but little humanity. Machines rule here, exploring realms that have never experienced organic occupancy. Gritty drones establish a foreboding perimeter, while effects and electronic outbursts cavort and seethe and duel with each other for supremacy of this harsh environs. Unrhythmic beats rise and recede. Metallic strings are tormented and goaded to produce buzzing vibrations. Piercing tones sound off with unpredictable frequency.
And yet, there's a strange cohesion to this apparent chaos, as random expressions combine to approximate a trace of harmonic flow. What initially seems to be musique concrete gradually adopts a semblance of droning resonance.
This CDR comes in a metal case with sparse information.
ROBERT ZIINO: Plastic Loves Global Warming (CD on Experimental Artists)
This release from 2006 features 40 minutes of grinding tuneage.
Employing harsh tonalities and growling synthetics, Ziino conjures an angry soundscape that communicates a strong environmental message through the electronics unbridled wrath.
Savagely squealing diodes conspire with guttural e-perc, peppered with teeth-gritting harmonics generated in some dark industrial basement. Searing sounds assault the audience, lashing the ear canals into wide-eyed attention with their relentless fervor. Periodically, nimble-fingered riffs launch forth to surface with a vengeance amid the furious tumult, although generally the embellishments constitute an increase of the dense noise. Hissing rhythms pound away throughout, providing tempos for the agitated commotion.
The compositions display subtle structure buried in the turbulence. Sublimated pop overdosed on angst and drenched in industrial furor until the result rings with penultimate intensity designed to alienate the man-on-the-street.
Definitely the type of music that would win a street war with your neighbor's obnoxious boombox.
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