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Darksmith, “Imposter”

ImposterWith a debut in 2007, the enigmatic Darksmith has a relatively dense body of work centered around manipulated tapes and electronic excursions. Imposter is one in a series of releases sharing these qualities, as well as consistently strange artistic consistency visually. Unexpecting changes from meditative to chaotic are the norm in this chaotic, yet beautiful disc.

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Originally slated to be an LP, Imposter maintains the original structure intended, presented as two side long pieces on the CD with some roughly discernable pauses where I believe original breaks were intended to be. The first half (side?), "Looking for Idiots/Problem with Everyone," is comparably the mellower one. Leading from a steady tone and flat, white noise, he builds with strange digital interference sounds and crunchy layers. With bits of field recordings weaved in and out, the first section is almost peaceful in its own, disjointed way. The second half is a bit rawer, with violent clattering, scrapes, banging, and what almost sounds like a horse running around and wrecking everything.

The other half, "Personal and Embarrassing/Hold Everything," is a bit bleaker from the start. Heavy tape hiss and scattered, processed sounds come across as less ambient and more menacing. After mangling the tapes a bit, he shifts the sound shifts to rattling machinery and almost rhythmic loops of noise. The whole thing becomes rather obtuse and alien, as the shift then goes from glitching and violent outbursts back to a diverse textural crunch to conclude the piece.

Existing in a nebulous space somewhere between harsh noise, field recordings, and tape experimentations, Imposter is a strange one from beginning to end. The mix between calm textures and harsh outbursts makes for a relatively tense experience, but that unpredictability is what makes it so captivating. It is simultaneously beautiful and disgusting sounding, and to me, that's a perfect combination for this type of work.

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