Jeremy Bible: I Am Very Uncomfortable Most of the Time

Its title notwithstanding, Ohio-based electronic musician Jeremy Bible's (aka Helen Keller, Box) I Am Very Uncomfortable Most of the Time has nothing to do with emo but everything to do with Warp-styled, IDM-based soundscaping. Three years in the making, the hour-long release weaves atmospheric voice samples, electronics, acoustic sounds, and field recordings into an uninterrupted travelogue.

After commencing with tangled clusters of wiry synth exhalations in “Oscarkestra,” the scenery and its corresponding moods change dramatically throughout. On the uptempo tip, “Grestwrd” pursues a storming electro-dub fusion, while hip-hop beats update the IDM-styled electronics that curdle and writhe throughout “Echo11.” On the quieter front, ruminative flute tones give “Celosia” a willowy ambiance, stuttering voice fragments bob to the surface during the brooding “Strand,” and seagulls and children's voices revive memories of a long-ago beach visit during the meditative “Diffuse.” I Am Very Uncomfortable Most of the Time's meditative zone is capped by “Insoma,” a subdued ambient drone dominated by crystalline organ washes, after which the closing tracks jolt the album back to attention. While extended tones drape themselves across “Pendulum,” beats stumble and tumble, anticipating the album's seventeen-minute closer “Gravel” where spastic convulsions suggest unattended machinery gone awry. As such, it's here that Jeremy Bible's sound gravitates towards Confield-era Autechre—a good or bad thing, depending on how you feel about that divisive set.

At day's end, I Am Very Uncomfortable Most of the Time is inarguably well-crafted and its sequencing works well too; if there's anything that might give the album's material more distinction, it's a stronger melodic dimension, as the ten settings often succeed more as atmospheres than memorable compositions. Even so, Jeremy Bible's provocative collection should appeal strongly to devotees of classic IDM.

October 2007