Review of Volume Objects [12k1045]

Signal To Noise (US)

The interpretation of ‘organic source materials’ in an electronic framework seems to be a thematic for 12k’s current run of releases. It appears a worthwhile investigation, as Autistici prove with their gracefully composed album of dejected melody, electronically sourced interruptions and found sound beds. Whilst electro-acoustic music has ventured to measure some more compositional or sound (im)balance relationships, Autistici seem more interested in testing for the edge of concentration in their listener and at what point you can snap the listeners attention into and out of focus. “Wire Cage For Tiny Birds” for example is a series of broken passages of tuneful sound linked through a series of connecting textures and process patterns. The piece is deeply musically, but at no point really resolves into what would be accessed as a clearly articulated ‘musical’ progression. It’s within this hazy juxtaposition of sounds, musical fragments and field recordings that they stake their claim.

Works like “Broken Guitar, Discarded Violin”, complete with earthing hum from the guitar scattering across the stereo field, offer an primitive quality – one that is constantly being attacked by the digital processes and cut-ups that mark out much of the actual shape of the piece. Again “Ageless Visitor, Eroded Time” create this same impression of sound objects caught in a clutter of musical expressions – sense is left up to the listener and their level of engagement, something welcomed wholeheartedly in an age of over-simplification and narrative binaries. – Lawrence English

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