Jason Kao Hwang

Federico Albanese
Autistici & Justin Varis
Matt Bartram
Vitaly Beskrovny
Patrick Castillo
Matt Davignon
Forrest Fang
Alejandro Franov
Karen Gottlieb
Mark Harris
Jason Kao Hwang
C Joynes / Nick Davis
GX Jupitter-Larsen
Lowe & Kalma
Lorenzo Masotto
Kazuya Matsumoto
Martin McCain
Paranoid Winter
Michael Robinson
Erika Tazawa
Vittoria Fleet
Daniel Wohl

Compilations / Mixes / Remixes / Reissues
20 Years Henry St. Music
Future Disco Vol 9

EPs / Cassettes / Mini-Albums / Singles
Alter Echo & E3
Gordon Beeferman
Tevo Howard
Qasim Naqvi
North Atlantic Drift
Nils Quak
Andy Skopes / Denial

GX Jupitter-Larsen & Ace Farren Ford / Le Scrambled Debutante feat. EMERGE: Split
attenuation circuit

There's something for everyone on this split release from the experimental, not-for-profit label attenuation circuit: for the drones devotee, there's GX Jupitter-Larsen and Ace Farren Ford's “Vertigone”; fans of restlessly mutating sound collages, on the other hand, should find Le Scrambled Debutante's “Electric Jackass” (featuring attenuation circuit founder EMERGE) much to their liking. Issued in a limited run of 300 copies, the material arrives in dazzling manner as a twelve-inch slab of grey marbled vinyl.

Laid down on May 8th, 2014 at Purple Panther Tattoos in Los Angeles, “Vertigone” lunges from the gate with a roar and pretty much stays there for the piece's full twelve-minute duration. Instrument details are vague, though we are told that synthetic sounds are involved. That being said, the sound field—a dramatic juxtaposition of low-pitched rumble and long tones in the upper frequencies—calls to mind the playing of an acoustic outfit featuring a percussionist, organist, and violin players. In place of a single chord, the higher pitches regularly shift as the piece progresses, and in doing so subtle harmonic dissonances enter into their voicings. The result is a glistening block of subtly mutating sound that is admittedly loud but not painfully so, and it's easy to imagine “Vertigone” appealing in particular to fans of Tony Conrad's work (e.g., Early Minimalism Volume 1, Four Violins).

Opening with a wild flourish, the fabulously titled “Electric Jackass” also wastes no time asserting itself, and what follows thereafter is an unpredictable, shape-shifting melange of abstract noises, wheezing accordion episodes, string plucks, sputtering synthesizers, and even a rhythm element or two. The twenty-minute setting originated out of an improvised session recorded on New Year's Eve 2014 at Secret Orange Star Studios in North Carolina; subsequent to that session, Le Scrambled Debutante (fronted by North Carolina resident Allan Zane) and EMERGE shaped the material into its final form by editing and re-assembling smaller pieces and folding in other bits supplied by Zane's German-based collaborator. Experimental and plunderphonic-styled it might be, but “Electric Jackass” isn't an extreme noise assault; in fact, though it is unreservedly explorative, it's also surprisingly restrained, even melancholy in some strange sense of the word. And while no one could conceivably predict the directions it takes (including a light-speed rhythm-based sequence that arrives seventeen minutes along), a certain kind of organic logic does characterize its unfolding.

February 2016