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Bio / Cría Cuervos / The Beautiful Schizophonic – Symptom of Thisease

V/A - Symptom of Thisease

CD, ThisCo, 2005

The three projects included on this split CD release form a sampler of sorts, representing three different takes on ambient music and noise. Ranging in variety from solid static to virtual soundtrack arrangements, each artist contributes a little less than twenty minutes of their own unique work, and two spend that time on a single extended piece.
In “The Distant Image of the Abstract Light,” Bio has composed a finished soundtrack to a short avant-garde film, complete with jarring alarms ringing at the end. Tinkling wind chimes and muted gongs introduce the story, which like any abstract meanders with little hesitation through a variety of possible scenarios and movements. Organic elements are prominently manifested at first, but nocturnal insects quickly give way to sharply tactile mechanical elements, such as shuddering rhythms at home in a steam-powered textile mill, and later, what I liken to a malfunctioning calliope. The human voice surfaces once from beneath this swirling menagerie of sound, a sample which brings a brief respite from clanking factory embellishments before ambient noises take over once more.
“Forêt, Forêt, des Yeux Fourmillent,” by Cría Cuervos, begins in silence, steadily building wave upon wave into a creeping tide of deeply rumbling bass. Organic clicks, chirps and knocks gradually seep into the already moving bass, rising and falling away in turn as well. Later, shifting beads and agitated pebbles of sound add their percolating movement, awash in the constant cycle of ebb and flow that characterizes this piece. This all adds up to the smoothest, most organically subtle blending of textures (and the best composition) heard on this release.
From The Beautiful Schizophonic’s “Her Heart is a Room Full of Drones” and “Soul Scanner”, all I seem to get is (surprise) drones and more drones, with supporting elements of white noise and static. I’d sleep to it if I left my stereo looping the tracks all night long. For years I’ve slept with a fan turned on, and these tracks seem as if they would make a delightful substitute with their indistinguishable, deep and fuzzy machine roar. The most intriguing track by far is “Girl in Ecstatic Peace”, with its dark, threatening bass fluttering at the depths of perception, and vaguely crawling oscillations appropriate to crushing benthic visions.


— Dutton Hauhart

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