Audion: Noiser/Fred's Bells

The incredibly resourceful Matthew Dear issues his latest Audion 12-inch, this one a two-track cocktail equally at home in the club or in your living room. “Noiser” begins with tiny sprites surveying acid-soaked terrain while a kick drum stomp morphs into a Latinized pulse. Dear stokes the fire with bubbling tendrils of synth figures that repeatedly take center stage and then return to the shadows; the tension grows and momentum builds so intensively, listeners brace themselves for an explosion that never comes. Instead, the piece settles into a locomotive chug that's eventually buried under synth flares. “Fred's Bells” is even more ear-catching, largely due to the billowing interjections of murmuring voices Dear spreads overtop his grooving house swing. The B-side's a little less frenetic but no less engrossing, especially when synth flares attack like darting cobras.

Despite the incredibly prolific production rate (“Noiser /Fred's Bells” is the seventh installment in the Audion series), Dear's material shows no drop in quality; judging by quality of the latest single, the outpouring seems only to have bolstered/refined his skills. What distinguishes these latest pieces is that they're not simply tracks that unfold linearly but compositions of mutating character which Dear artfully arranges into captivating wholes.

June 2007