"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Signing the sky

There's nothing paradoxical about Zeno van den Broek's Machinist. Sorry: feeble pun & not even entirely true of his new Of What Once Was, another fine notch in Moving Furniture's, er, bedpost (let's take the apologies as read from here on...).

OWOW's deft Kleinian montones have certainly travelled far from the jagged near-ferocities of earlier work (stream some highlights of that era below). But if there's any arrowing paradox to be had here it's in the pairing of a richly programmatic first half - Mono tone in d ("an electric guitar piece in d, with the only variation being the length of tones and different shapes of resonance") - & the beautiful live improvisation of the eponymous second, which bookends (MFR's apt term) the earlier work by deconstructing its peak (the densely romantic, almost post-rocking [& again Klein-alluding] Viens Avec Moi Dans Le Vide, Betontoon).

The label claims the latter "marks the transition in the sonic adventures of MACHINIST from guitar based drone work into new and as of yet uncharted territories and unknown spatiality". These ears would probably argue that of Mono tone in d instead - but then they barely know the difference between contrast & paradox, apparently...

Blurb: "The red thread throughout the album is the use of electric guitar as a means to embark on a sonic quest for the tension between spatial sound and tonality of field recordings and the, per se, non-spatiality of computer-generated tones and noise and the inherent resonance(s) of the electric guitar and amplifier(s). These aspects all coalesce in the listening space where the listener experiences the sonic and spatial factors inherent in both pieces."

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