DAVE FUGLEWICZ / HAL MCGEE (Ilse, 14) Synergistic Reconstruction (2011) CDR
One of the foremost American noise artists, the superhumanly prolific Hal McGee, teams up with another stalwart of the U.S. cassette underground, Dave Fuglewicz, to create "Synergistic Reconstruction". The original sound source material by Fuglewicz, composed on software synthesizers, was remixed and added to by McGee on a bunch of analog synths and circuit-bent instruments producing all manner of electronically derived sounds. McGee, as mixer, really sticks to his Burroughsian guns on this one, using chance tactics to slam sound fields against one another, creating their own unintentional logic. These compositions (there are four) are built from such disparate sonic events that they seem to be always moving towards some impossible destination. Fuglewicz's looping textures reign in McGee's more excessive tendencies as, amidst all the chance happenings and bombardments, a directional line will emerge moving towards a cohesive structure, centering the composition with McGee's squabbling sweeps and chattering seeming less reckless and more integral to the overall fabric. Fascinating and recommended! Get it HERE.
HALF AN ABORTION (Ilse, 11) Naked Math Machinery (2011) CDR
With astonishing power, Pete Cann, aka Half An Abortion, creates nightmarish paintings from the colours of his sonic palette. The images conjured on "Naked Math Machinery" are fantastic, though completely abstract and from unrecognizable sound sources. These are very harsh, caustic sounds with little low-end, feedback-derived noise possibly composed using contact mics and no-input mixers. Whatever the humble, or not-so-humble, origins of these sounds, they create structures where every event is magnified to monstrous extremes and unleashed with blistering savagery. The second track, "Paused Growl", with its false ending is particularly dynamic, and the final track titled "During The Swim" has a more varied structure, with its stop and start framework, but it's still a very stern sound and an engrossing one. Cann is onto something here, he's found a new way of expressing the noise paradigm. No cliches, just a beautiful cacophony! Get it HERE.
AARON ZARZUTZKI / NICK HOFFMAN (Ilse, 4) Lost Corner (2011) CDR
The pure sound invention of Aaron Zarzutzki and Nick Hoffman using various noisemakers on this album, "Lost Corner", is quite remarkable. Looking at the inner sleeve photo it appears the compositions were created using synthesizers, (circuit-bent?) drum machines, fx pedals, and contact mics on various objects, including a sewing machine. These improvised environments are created from small sound events that overlap, many of the sonics have percussive qualities and appear for a few seconds in the mix to disappear or come back later. Reminds me of Roscoe Mitchell's "The Maze" or some of Anthony Braxton's more esoteric compositions for percussion. The two improvisers are throwing a lot into the mix, but never latch on to a theme, the whole thing plays like Dadaist poetry à la Kurt Schwitters, but not having any crescendos wears on the concept by the end. Through and through its directions seem tentative. Still remarkable if only for the sheer scope of the varied palette. Get it HERE.
BILLY GOMBERG, ANNE GUTHRIE, RICHARD KAMERMAN (Ilse, 10) Blue & Gold, Delicate Sen (2011) CDR
Billy Gomberg collaborates with french horn player, Anne Guthrie (Director of the S.E.M. Ensemble in Brooklyn) and Richard Kamerman in the trio project, Delicate Sen. "Blue & Gold, Delicate Sen" is a superb album of beautiful sound worlds created by these artists. Four long tracks of improvisation, similar in intent to the Zarzutzki/Hoffman release reviewed above. Both albums are made by artists who are, apparently, very familiar with improvisation and have the daring to pull off what they attempt. It's a fine line and doesn't take much, in either case, to succeed or fail aesthetically, but where this album succeeds in a stronger way, for me, is by finding correlations in the audio stream between the improvised parts that cements their structure. These compositions are not extremely driving, or dynamic, but the languid flow of ideas across the sound field is, nevertheless, very satisfying. Whatever themes appear are very minimalist, usually a fluxing note, or multiphonic, that slowly stretches the composition as other quiet strands enter and dissolve. An absorbing listening experience. Get it HERE.
Violent Pink is the noise project of Tyler Keen, from Augusta, Georgia, active since at least 2009, with several CDR's and cassettes to his credit, including one on AMK's Banned Productions label. This album, "Propaganda Of The Deed", starts off with an old-school, industrial style sound-clip montage, then speeds off like a rocket into a violent world of noise. His feedback based vocal approach is familiar, from Masonna to Prurient to Torturing Nurse, calling forth the psychedelic elements of this style as well as, in this case, the more dominant metal origins. The two tracks with Pete Cann, aka Half An Abortion, whose contributions are easily discerned, are the high points of this album as the heavy solidity of Cann's source material anchors the compositions. It's quite a trip, one that noiseheads will love. Get it HERE.