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The Fascinating Electronic Music of Heuristics Inc.

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Heuristics Inc. is Bill Maciejewski. Based near Baltimore, Maryland, this independent musician frequently operates in tandem with the sonic open source project Tapegerms. Maciejewski's compositions are a blending of contemporary EM and warped pop sensibilities, and usually end up with a heavy dose of industrial disposition flavoring the fusion. The results are quite satisfying and worthy of attention.

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HEURISTICS INC.: Fluffy Dinosaur Attack (CD on Heuristics Inc.)

This release from 2002 offers 66 minutes of fascinating electronic music.

Inventive electronics are cleverly utilized to produce sinuous tunes that brim with expressive mood and exciting melodies. Serpentine textures are peppered with spicy effects and captivating rhythms. Passages of hypnotic charm are laced with off-beat aspects that keep things in constant motion. Haunting tuneage unfurls with vivid tendencies to twist perceptions inside-out.

While percussion plays a vital role, often auxiliary sounds are employed to achieve enchanting tempos, like the staccato cycling of vocal grunts to produce supernatural rhythms in "The Frogman Cometh."

Compositionally speaking, this music ranks high on the unpredictable chart, while clocking in equally strong on the appeal-o-meter. The melodies are refreshing and tantalizing, seducing the listener with alluring riffs while tickling the psyche with a plethora of unusual sounds.

A vibrant sense of humor is present in this music, as indicated by the song titles "In the Lair of the Zombie Kittens" and "The Kraken Retreats."

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BRAINPIPE: The Goo Sessions (CD on Kongbalong)

This release from 2002 offers 31 minutes of strangeness.

Brainpipe is: Bill Maciejewski and Starfinger.

For the first track, liquid electronics flow with guitar and e-perc, producing a sinuous dose of trancey tuneage designed to bewilder and bewitch. Feedback is utilized as a glue to bond the elements into a fuzzy morass, employing agitation as a seductive device. The guitars blur with static effects, achieving jarring pinnacles that induce mild headaches for the unwary. Simplistic percussives prattle along, generating a steadfast undercurrent while the rest of the mix batters at the listener's forehead with forceful chords. Notes launch into dizzying spirals, transforming an aggressive pop tune into a noise fest.

With the second track, things step down to a more congenial form of assault. Metallic rhythms batter away while guitar effects duel with each other. A forlorn sense is accomplished with the injection of remote textures. A twanginess produces a bubbling mien that perpetuates the tune's animosity.

For the next track, an ambient opening leads to ricocheting beats and tortured strings. Harsh mutilations create a hostile foundation that rises to swamp the mix. Growling guitars collide in a viscous environment, resulting in a tenure of gritty resonance that takes no prisoners.

The last track is short and somewhat frivolous as sawing noises battle with a grating quasi-accordion.

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HEURISTICS INC. VS THE WORLD: Anemone (CD on Heuristics Inc.)

This release from 2003 offers 69 minutes of industrial remixes.

The basic track for this release is part of a longer improv ambient session by Heuristics Inc. The rest of the CD consists of remixes perpetrated by Tapegerm cohorts.

Maciejewski's "Anemone" composition is decidedly industrial for an ambient extract. Harsh textures establish a grating environment akin to a cybernetic migraine. The pulsations are seasoned by cyclic percussion that remains pretty steadfast in its efforts to enhance the rising throb. Despite its simplicity, the piece is actually quite memorable for its efforts to burrow under the listener's skin.

Contributing remixes of this track are: Arthur Loves Plastic, Odd One Out, AutoCad, Aeon Circle, Mobile Sound Unit, Mental Anguish, John Ingram, CRT, Clubgoers, adamisgod, Dave Akuma, composite.human, and Kantor. There's even a Heuristics Inc. retake on the piece.

These musicians have a lot of fun twisting, warping and mutating the basic track, producing an assortment of reconstructions that frequently bear scarce semblance to the original. The tone is often brutal, elaborating on the industrial template with additional malevolence, as each band imprints their own stylistic character on the piece. Some remixes are highly rhythmic, escalating the tempos to overkill proportions and injecting idiosyncratic elements into the drone; while others choose a more chaotic approach, overlaying freshly abrasive notions with cavalier license.

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HEURISTICS INC.: Missing Architecture (CD on Soutrane Recordings)

This release from 2004 offers 57 minutes of odd ambience.

Gritty effects flow in tandem with atmospheric textures. The mix is agitated by growling cybernetic sounds that lend a subdued animosity to the streaming soundscapes.

This mixture of serenity and danger is entirely novel, and quite appealing. Angst becomes sedated into mild dread, while dreaminess is infected with nightmarish portends. Sweetly resonant passages are generated from disturbing tonalities, then crafted into seductive tunes that bristle with ill-concealed menace.

Percussion is present, but often manifesting in synthetic modes that apply non-impact sounds to rhythmic cycles to achieve oozing tempos. The beats might be buzzing or hissy or crunchy or twitchy vibrations sourced from foreign dimensions. Whatever the case, the results are inventive, sneakily transporting the listener to realms where the laws of physics adhere to wholly unexpected theorems.

The compositions betray a playful sense of alienation designed to divorce the audience from conventional reality. At the same time, the tunes possess a bewitching charm that is mesmerizing in its strangeness. This music draws you in, then strands you in zones of calm contaminated with edgy aspects.

Although this music is entirely improvised, a strong cohesion is evident. The pieces display fluid qualities that evolve into solid melodies with sly guidance.

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HEURISTICS INC.: Domestic Problems (CD on Heuristics Inc.)

This release from 2004 offers 60 minutes of electronic anthems to combat household boredom.

A tongue-in-cheek tone is set with the movie sample ("Oh, that's good." "No, lady, that's bad.") utilized as the centerpiece of the first track. While an extended version of the exchange goes on, metallic e-perc and sinuous electronics weave an ironic soundtrack that evokes robots teetering through housework. The notion of coping with modern domestic dilemmas delivers a series of tunes that blend silliness with bouncy melodies.

Even a broad outline is inadequate to describe the range of electronic noises Maciejewski employs in this music. Pulling from an abundance of Tapegerm samples, he concocts a versatile array of sounds, from shuddering accordions to shooting stars to melancholic textures forced to exhibit jubilation. The real hook lies in how he weaves everything together into engaging riffs with dynamic rhythms, producing melodies that are intensely satisfying. His compositional acumen harnesses these snippets and converts them into lavish resonance that shimmers with great allure.

Percussion is integral to this tuneage, providing eclectic tempos of compelling depth. The rhythms propel the songs with jovial glee, imbuing each beat with a smirking attitude.

There are even a few tracks that explore a sense of hazardous desperation with dire moods and plodding rhythms. Frankly, even the mirthful tracks possess an edgy undercurrent that reminds us that every silver cloud has a snakepit of unlabelled wiring just waiting to short out.

Beneath the overall humorous veneer, though, this music is dramatic and thrilling, a fusion of contemporary electronic music and pop sensibilities that unites the two genres for a collection of highly rewarding tunes.

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HEURISTICS INC.: Live from the Middle of Nowhere (CD on Heuristics Inc.)

This release from 2006 offers 79 minutes of engagingly dreamy (and often haunting) electronics.

The material on this release is culled from several in-studio internet live performances.

At the Ambientlive 2k4 Mark 2 performance on June 9, 2004, delicate atmospherics are laced with soft pulsations and understated keyboard chords. Sampled weirdness wanders in and out of the mix, generating a transient quality to the ethereal music. Bass tones contribute an eerie milieu as the tuneage goes dark for a while, conjuring haunted hallways leading to unspeakable nightmares. At the end of that ectoplasmic corridor, the music grows tense and scary with oscillating tonalities and shifting realities. This spooky disposition prevails for a while with hesitant keys dueling with distantly growling noises that swell into full-blown desperation. The set concludes with a tasty blend of melancholy vocals and anticipatory ambience.

At the Nomusic Arena II performance on October 11, 2005, the music exudes similar eerie qualities, as drones waft and collide with denser, more dire structures that ooze prehistoric menace. Clumping percussion leads to an outburst of brain-rattling proportions that becomes remarkably thrilling, merging hypnotic elements with a throbbing one-legged dance demeanor. The plodding rhythms return for an exploration of modern sensibilities that culminates in a piece suitable for straitjacket appreciation.

The two pieces from Tapegerm 24 Hour Flu on July 15, 2005, and Nomusic Tournament 5 on April 15, 2003, are short (5 and 3 minutes long). They represent clips of auditory angst peppered with mounting rhythmics.

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