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Carlos Giffoni, "Welcome Home"

Best known for his No Fun festivals and collaborating with anyone he can get his hands on Carlos Giffoni has finally finished his solo debut LP, Welcome Home.  Recorded over three years and across several continents, it’s the sound of electrical things gone against their design to make something more of themselves and given time could well be his most pleasant piece of deformed improvisational composing yet.
Important Records

Like Giffoni’s No Fun festivals Maya Miller provides the artwork here and the imagery catches the feel of the album’s shifting fluid structure as these dripping biological virus-born wasting germs seem to have been caught mid morph, between birth and messy evolution to fluidic crawling abortions.

While many artists specializing in noise, distortion, cutups and improvisational chaos will delight in the murk of distant analogue feedback Giffoni relies on purely digital sounds and the crystal clear violence of the music is initially more than a little startling. The introductory title track bursts forth as a mash of screeching horns and mutilated arcade games and most of the music here is born of an intensely in your face digital trash aesthetic. His hard drive is a chopping board where the soundtrack of electronic mutilation is expertly carved into four minute pieces of melted compositional madness/beauty.

Surface appreciation doesn’t work with Giffoni’s work (as background noise its chaotic harsh speaker abuse) but up close there are intricacies and moments of subatomic protein restructuring. Debris like “Trode Events” becomes a concerto for loose wires, bleeps and screeches as it barely manages to stay upright and the laser battle of “Expectations” becomes a warm digital bubblebath.  The album’s truest and most obvious spark of magic lies in the simpler closing strains of “Departure Time” and its buzzing railway announcement tones. These stabs of tightly bunched notes phase up against one another and from this clash a new bell-like soft melody is born of the harsh interaction of these sounds. Then it all ends unpredictably with a splurge of noise like a puff of magician’s smoke.

This is proof, if needed, that Giffoni needs to spend a bit less of his time collaborating and a bit more time at his PC desk.



Review of the Day

Carl Stone, "Nak Won"
The three songs that compose this full-length present three distinct experiences: the chaos of the electric world, the sublime glow of the heavenly spheres, and the mayhem of an ever-increasing global consciousness. It all begins with sine waves bolting through the atmosphere like a futuristic weapon bent on destroying the moon. Slowly the tones begin to skip and play musical chairs changing both their tones and their placement inside my brain. Once inside they wreak havoc and expand the auditory receptors in preperation for the fuzzy haze that nearly rises to the surface. The rhythmic tones bounce manically and are somewhat subdued by the calm underneath but eventually every sound returns to its origin and the sound of buzzing electricity is the only thing left. "Kreutz" permeates every reigion of space with a series of rolling melodic tones. Closing my eyes I can imagine the firey birth of a solar system unfolding before my eyes as the various elements cool and new-born planets revolve peacefully about the sun. This stands in stark contrast to both "Nak Won" and the closing "Darul Kabap." Various ethnic instruments open this nearly half-hour long piece and unfold into a flower of technological and ancestral influence alike. Everything begins gently and slowly with each sound having its own room to breathe but then a populace of sounds begins to create a crowd and the original instruments become suffocated. Voices replace the instruments but are struck down by manipulating their tone and length. The "primitive" and "advanced" meet somewhere in the middle and then a rhythm is created out of cutting back and forth between the two in a schizophrenic fury and by introducing some percussive instruments into the mix. Confusion, anxiety, and relief all exist within the piece and when it's all over I am stunned by the beauty that is found in this fusion of vocal, acoustic, and electronic influences. Nak Won is an example of the original and unique things that can still be done within the realm of electronic composition and noise. Are the purveyors of all things glitch out there paying any attention?


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