Philadelphia-based instrumental trio
(guitarist Kevin Hufnagel, bassist Clayton Ingerson and drummer Jeff Eber),
are heirs to the tradition of instrumental jazz-tinged punk-rock of
Universal Congress and
Contradiction (2000), boasting articulate and sophisticated compositions
such as the nine-minute Earthquake, the ten-minute Polytrip and the seven-minute Lost in Disguise,
No Interference (2001), containing the eleven-minute Let You Fall,
and Pretest (2003), with Touch Benediction,
refined their art of frantic solos, angular riffs and odd time-signatures.
Relocating to New York and hiring new bassist Colin Marston, the trio
released the short Barriers and Passages (2006), that veered towards
Don Caballero-esque post-rock
(Appeared at First,
Bypass the Solenoid,
An Ally to Comprehension).
One of the trio's best performances was documented on the split album
Fractures (Acerbic Noise Development, 2007): the 14-minute Earthquake.
Colin Marston of Dysrhythmia teamed up with
George Korein, who later released Somewhere On The Internet (2007)
under the moniker Naked Mall Rats, to launch the project Infidel? Castro.
After the limited-releases Infidelicacy (2000) and
Case Studies In Bioentropy (2001), they debuted with the
double-disc Bioentropic Damage Fractal (Crucial Blast, 2005).
The album opens with three brief collages that run the gamut from
industrial music to grindcore to digital hardcore.
Then comes the haunting drone of
Damage Fractal Series I: Intrusive Imagination, simulating the
slow approach of a sideral spaceship, and the ten-minute
Bedridden (9:44), that slowly builds up a tidal wave of atonal noises,
a classic of digital musique concrete.
The nine-minute (In) Voluntary Emotional Response tries to modulate
that kind of massive chaotic noise and to extract a melody out of it, a sort of
digital shoegazing music that manages to achieve Wagner-ian levels of pathos.
The twelve-minute Involuntary Physical Response is a much more chaotic
collage that fails to find a center of mass, as, generally speaking, most of
the second disc, with a peak of frenzy in the first minutes of
Damage Fractal Series III: Cylindrical Bereavement Summarizing Its Orientations.
The 21-minute monolith that closes the album,
Temporarily Dissolving Into Plasma During A Moment To One's Self,
indulges for a long time in desolate guitar strumming that slowly turns more
and more disquieting as a population of hidden noises moves to the forefront.
The peace that we took for granted is pulverized by an increasing degree of
free noise, although there remains a steady flow of tinkling sounds.
While the meaning of all of this is cryptic to say the least, and leaves one
with the feeling that it was mainly a rehearsal for a better focused work to
come, the arsenal of ideas is impressive and their implementation rudely
George Korein's concept album
Memoirs Of A Trilobite (2001-2004) (BatHotAxe, 2005) ran the gamut from electronica to jazz to dance-music.
Kevin Hufnagel also released the albums of solo ambient guitar music
Songs for the Disappeared (2009) and
Dysrhythmia followed up with the mediocre
Psychic Maps (2009) with the classy and brainy
Test Of Submission (Profound Lore, 2012).
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