Audion: Billy Says Go
Spectral Sound

VA: Death is Nothing to Fear 4
Spectral Sound

In a 2007 interview with Matthew Dear, I commented on the striking compositional conception of his Audion material, to which Dear nonchalantly replied that the material I'd mentioned (“Mouth to Mouth,” “I Gave You Away,” “Noiser,” “Fred's Bells”) had been produced in “about two-hour sessions [with] no conscious thought involved.” I'm still amazed that he's able to so effortlessly create tracks that at least sound like they've been painstakingly considered, and his latest demented batch of Audion cuts sounds no less thought-through. The hypnotic “Billy Says Go” begins with an itchy elastic plod, segues into an insistent hand-clapping throb, and then adds a seething motif tailor-made to burrow its way into your skull and a funky Arabian-flavoured melody that sounds like a child soprano crossed with a Casio. Stalker-like whispers roll over the bass-burbling pulse of “Snap Into It” after which an equally psychotic melody joins the chugging fray, while the eight-minute monstrosity “Against All Odds,” fueled by a spacey locomotive swing, slowly swells into a hammering blazer that's besieged by bleeding train whistles.

The fourth Death Is Nothing to Fear installment may be my favourite to date due to its predominantly aggressive character—how could it not be when the contributors include Kill (aka Kill Memory Crash) and TNT (Osborne and James T. Cotton)? First up, Alexi Delano joins hands with Francisco Allendes for “El Coleccionista De Piedras” (“The Stone Collector”), a mercilessly charging techno banger that's by turns rubbery, acidy, and ultimately amazing. Kill's clangorous electro-techno cut “ France ” stomps with a pummeling goosestep that's both lethal and funky, and TNT rolls multiple layers of drum machines, bass lines, and synths into the surprisingly beatific “Mahogany” where synth smears swoop celestially over a rambunctious acid-house swing. At disc's end, Daso's less frenetic cruiser “Chair and Table” arrives as a welcome contrast while still leaving a strong impression with its brooding, twilight ambiance.

June 2008