Review of Active/Freeze [12k1009]

Magnet (US)

“Glitch” music is a lot like free jazz in one important respect: it’s a form that’s really easy to do really badly. Anybody can grab a saxophone and blat whatever’s easiest, forcing out long lungfuls of aimless bullshit. Similarly, anybody can sit down with a keyboard and a laptop and come up with 70 minutes of minuscule ticky noises and sinewave pulses that, afterwards, leave less trace in memory than a flea’s dream. This release, on Taylor Deupree’s own label, isn’t like that. It doesn’t suck, because the two people making the disc are among the foremost practitioners of miniaturized electronic music. Tetsu Inoue’s Waterloo Terminal is the best volume so far in Caipirinha Records’s Architettura series, and Deupree’s contributions to the lowercasesound comp, along with the 12k1008 CD he put out last year, have been brilliant as well, offering shimmering moments of delicate, pure sound amid oases of silence. The tracks here are clearly collaborations, each performer’s distinctive style (and it’s not mere facetiousness to say about this form of music that if you can’t tell one person’s work from another’s, you’re not listening carefully enough) coming through and complementing, rather than distracting from, the others. Subtle, beautiful stuff. – phil freeman

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