Brainwashed Review: Upcoming Events

It’s refreshing to hear an album of sonic abstraction that falls into neither of the following categories: minimalist drone, harsh noise, or crossover into other electronic realms. Not that there is anything wrong with those at all, I enjoy many works that fall into those aforementioned categories. But works like this collaboration between the Illusion of Safety member and long time sound artist and master for hire Dimuzio are fascinating in that they are focused only on the nuanced textures of sound. No Fun Productions Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the 15 tracks that compile this album are based upon live collaborations over a period of only three days. The pieces were not overdubbed or otherwise processed, but only mixed after the performances to give a more cohesive flow. As in any good recording of this nature, the specific instrumentation and tools of performance remain a mystery (the liner notes credit laptops, sampling, and “sound sources”), but their output is captivating. The lengthy opener “Deregulation” begins quietly: electronic loops deep in the mix as fragments of voice and computer data tones swell up, later matched by lush, almost classically dark ambient synths and eventual digital data sputtering, like a hard drive in its death throes. Some of the tracks also have some obvious intended contrasts: the thick, organ like tones that comprise “In God We Trust” have a distinct holy quality, especially next to the machinery hum and hellish detuned orchestra of “Devil’s Torrent,” which immediately follows. Similarly, the quiet, pitch bent sound of “Operative” is followed up by the heavier “Aggregate,” with a thick distorted synth element that places it somewhere near the realms of current power electronics/death industrial. Other pieces exist solely on their own, without any easy point of reference to draw: “Infecticidal” is based upon a loop of what sounds like creaking springs, but is matched with what resembles ethnic percussion, thick stabs of noise, and what sounds like birds chirping. It's an odd and somewhat disorienting combination of sounds that these two artists manage to sculpt into a fascinating track that sounds like very little else. The album closes on an especially odd note with the penultimate “Mediastorm,” consisting of odd chattering noises and dense reverb blasts which resemble the recordings of hurricane forced winds more than anything else. The actual last bit is almost pure silence mixed with the occasional odd sound (it may be the artists dismantling their gear after the show). Although from live recordings, this collaboration has a distinct cohesive feel that, even with all its abstraction, feels like a fully realized album. While there are the occasional traces of other genres that show up, as a whole it stands on its own as a collection of sonic textures that further listening only expand upon. —Creaig Dunton