Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vital Weekley review of Startless cd


The cover lists all the instruments used in this collaboration, which is always a nice read, but in this case it also lists the amount of each instrument used. So Jason Zeh uses seven cassette players, twenty-two cassettes, one portable head player, five cassettes cases, one knife, one magnet, one screwdriver, one contact microphone, one Behringer mixer and one glass sheet while Blake Edward also uses one glass sheet, but three contact microphones, one Mackie mixer, one PDS 8000 8 second delay, one shortwave radio, one 4MS custom dual noise swash tweaker, one Neuman turntable, eight records (7", 10", 12") and three hand modified records. Its then interesting to see that the recordings were made in three live sessions, which were then 'extracted, edited, reprocessed, modified and assembled'. This could only lead, I guess, to that heavy layered sound that is presented as 'Circulation Decay'. Its meeting of two men with firm roots in the world of 'noise plus', by which I mean that their prime is not to play an unrelentness mass of distorted sound, but that interesting cross road of noise, musique concrete, electro-acoustic sound and drone music (the latter being a more prime interest in Edwards' own Vertonen project). It all operates on a dynamic level. The extended layeredness of the music makes that it is quite full but also that there is always lots happening on all kinds of levels. On top is the big fat drone, but underneath things burst, bubble and crack. They work their way through the material in a dynamic way. Loud blocks are intercepted with 'softer' toned versions, but it never qualifies as ambient music. A fine work, like pretty much everything Edwards does these days or the small catalogue of Zeh (of whom I know a great solo CD and his collaborative effort with Ben Gwilliam). Excellent. (FdW)