All Music Guide: Review of Slew

As its subtitle indicates, Slew is "a compilation of compilation tracks," packaging together most if not all of Thomas Dimuzio's contributions to compilations between 1990 and 2004. The tracks range from the largely available "Never Steven" (from the Cuneiform CD Transforms: The Nerve Events Project) and "Radiotraces" (from Tzadik's Tom Cora tribute Hallelujah, Anyway) to obscure cuts previously released on tiny labels such as Generator Archives, Alku, Gench, and RRRecords.

The track list ignores chronology to favor a more naturally flowing sequence that sees the music shift gradually from electro-acoustic works based on electric instruments to electronic/computer pieces having shortwave, sine waves, or white noise at their heart. Falling in the latter category, "Don't Shop My Skulls" and "M375," the last two pieces, are the only tracks previously unreleased. "M375" would soon come out on a RRRecords comp, while "Don't Shop My Skulls" had been created for the unreleased Toyo project 20 Second Comp. Nothing here equals in strength the music on Headlock, Dimuzio's crowning achievement, but weak tracks are rare and the album as a whole offers a nice flow, enough for an enjoyable listening experience into the worlds of sampling-based sound art and organized noise.

All tracks have been remastered and in some cases, like "Never Steven," the results are impressive. Other highlights include the 13-minute "Lightswitch" (by far the longest piece of the set) and "Monaural." Not an essential item or the best place to discover Dimuzio's art, Slew is more for connoisseurs looking for a fix between releases by this slow-working soundsmith. —Francois Couture