Featured ReviewsReviews

Duncan Avoid – Metaphysics

Duncan Avoid - Metaphysics

CD, Hive Records, 2004

Kaebin Yeld’s participation in the “Symbiosis” split with Exclipsec offered a brief glimpse of what would be “Metaphysics”, the result of collaboration with Undacova under the moniker of Duncan Avoid. A brief glimpse, but nothing that could remotely prepare the listener to what was in store for the future. It may not be an easy album to fully grasp but “Metaphysics” is well worth the time, effort (and money) invested.
“Metaphysics” was one of those albums that, despite instinctively liking it and recognizing its intrinsic quality, took me quite some time to fully get into. And even then, I fear that I have just begun to explore its complexity. Imagine traveling into the mind of a hyperactive person and that the person’s mind is and immense steam-powered anachronical engine or factory, always working, steam hissing, maintenance drones moving around bleeping between themselves and that, on occasion, there are theaters and assemblies, where mechanical orchestras are playing or where the drones converge for assemblies. Imagine that you’re traveling in said factory, at varying speeds, observing the workings of this gigantic contraption that could easily have been imagined by William Heath Robinson crossed with B-movies of the 50’s. That is probably the best way to describe the music in this album: apparent chaos resulting from extremely complex and skillfully constructed ordered workings.
The music in “Metaphysics” is a surprising and very creative collage of music styles, from heavy-duty, in-your-face, breakcore to experimental glitch and IDM structures that form an almost continuous sound barrage that skillfully overlies ambient soundscape layers shaped with varying degrees of subtlety. These layers of ambient ultimately provide the much needed relief from the rhythmic sonic assault and give the listener something to focus beyond the wall of aggression (on occasion they fully replace it) making it so that the music does never become tiring and is always enticing, almost addictive. This skillfull creation and combination of musical layers is, to me, where the real ingenuity of “Metaphysics” resides and gives it an identity of its own; hopefully, this is something the authors will attempt to develop and refine in future works and is not just a one trick pony.
Skipping the remix tracks which do serve the purpose of twisting the originals to even greater complexity, I find it hard to pick up individual tracks. “Parallel Grounds” is one of the intense tracks that captures the attention of the listener, while tracks like “Auditory Arms”, “Systemic Ressentiment” and definitely “Consciousness Creeping” require more careful and attentive audition. “Lucid (down the Rabbit Hole)” is particularly interesting and, being a rather musically descriptive track, I’d pair it with the almost nightmarish and seemingly incoherent hallucinatory “Rue de la Fée Verte” which also works extremely well in creating and describing a particular situation (even if it is ultimately a bit pretentious track).


— Miguel de Sousa

Leave a Reply