Accelera Deck: Ipsissima Vox
Scarcelight Recordings

On Ipsissima Vox (“the very voice”), Accelera Deck (Chris Jeely) uses guitar, feedback, loops, and treatments to create fifteen tracks recorded between 1993 to 2003. While the guitar is Jeely's primary source, it's transformed so radically throughout that conceivably other instruments might be present too, so alien are the sounds he generates. A full lexicon of sonic vocabulary is on display with smears, scrapes, and splintering shards inhabiting the pieces, Jeely fearlessly tearing the material apart and re-assembling it into compelling fragments that pierce, flicker, combust, and drone. Raw electronic storms of high-pitched frequencies and abrasive feedback are leavened by fleeting oases of gentle calm. He conjures bucolic moods that recall Greg Davis's music on some tracks although Jeely goes much further in deconstructing the source material into malleable fragments. A good illustration is the wistful opener “Parallel” whose glistening acoustic guitar shimmer is processed at times beyond recognition, with melancholy traces of untainted guitar surfacing through the static. Elsewhere Fennesz's style is evoked, by the machine-like grinding on “Rare,” for instance. Even though Jeely restlessly explores a full spectrum of electronic sound, the tracks group together to some degree. “Parallel” and ‘Reckoning' show their acoustic song-oriented origins most clearly, although both are overhauled by processing treatments. Other tracks eschew song structure elements for textural abstractions that one might classify as microsound or microtonal. Ambient drones are here too, although presented more concisely than is the usual custom. “Ghost Photography,” in fact, builds from ambient drone to seething cacophony in a mere five minutes. Ipsissima Vox is distinguished by its generous range of sonic explorations and styles; it would be more distinguished, however, by a greater preponderance of melody-based songs rather than the more abstract pieces that predominate. Although interesting as explorative exercises, they're less emotionally engaging. Notably, Jeely ends the collection with memorable bluesy guitar on “Landslide Blues,” perhaps implicitly acknowledging the greater impact of his more melodic pieces.

March 2004