( ) - Clipped

Thursday, November 15 2007 @ 01:00 AM PST

Contributed by: Alan Milne

Genre: Experimental / Electronics / Ambient / Soundscapes / Industrial

01 - indstrlwtrbts_loft_noise_1 02 - indstrlwtrbts_loft_noise_2 03 - indstrlwtrbts_loft_noise_3 04 - infinity_clik 05 - infinity_haunted 06 - indstrirain

Confusion reigns supreme. And by fuck was I left confused over this recording. It had nothing to do with the music I should say. Just who released it was the problem. Initially I was informed that this release was called ‘Infinity’ by Waterbeats. But when the recording arrived I saw no mention of Waterbeats on the cover. Then I went onto the Parenthesis Music label website to grab a picture of the CD artwork for the review and found that this was listed as something different. Possibly ‘Infinity’ by Clipped or ‘Infinity Clipped’ by ( ). Yeah…I know…that last one baffled me also. Scratching my bald dome, lightly polished with baby oil, I took it upon myself to contact the label directly to get the truth. There’s nothing worse, or more embarrassing for that matter, in having to correct a review once it’s online. I should know. Red faces all round and the feeling of being an incompetent twat springs readily to mind.

So it came to pass that I eventually found the act was called ( ). Which reminded me of the prosperous purple pygmy Prince when he called himself ‘squiggle’ or something. There was also another group in the 80’s who did the same thing but thankfully I’ve forgotten who the fuck they were. Or how you pronounced their name. At least ( ) is different. Though going into a record store and asking for the latest release from brackets, because no-one calls it parentheses, should be a laugh if you’re willing to give it a go some day.

The artist ( ) is a sound artist essentially, but also works with video and sound in performance and installation settings. ( ) uses a laptop computer and other instruments and sources to create a variety of sound and image. The source material behind this release, and its worth noting, goes like this. The artist lived below a company called Infinity Pleating in Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs of New York City, and when the factory closed they unplugged the pleating machines which resulted in water falling into where he lived. I do hope he was properly insured.

In many ways ‘Clipped’ reminded me of the Sleep Research Facility release ‘Dead Weather Machine’ which worked around a similar concept…only in that case it was a fucked misfiring heater blower and not a loft flooding with water. Also ‘Clipped’ comes across as an aggressive ‘Dead Weather Machine’ on steroids…with muscles Popeye would be proud of. The 6 tracks presented herein are essentially soundscapes or sound sculptures, you choose the most appropriate word, that is a marriage of musical genres. ( ) manages to touch on aspects taken from Industrial through to Power electronics and onto black Ambient in a way that is quite marvellous to listen to. This electrifying mix of styles, coupled with the artistic vision of the artist, has produced a recording that is an understated masterpiece of using modern technology to encapsulate an aural beauty steeped in darkness and decay. There is a sense of persuasive serenity derived from the throbbing rhythmic dynamic passages, akin to a foetus floating in the warm waters of a womb, interspersed with frequent bursts of intangible noise that strike deeply into your subconscious as you’re swept along on the ebbing waves of electronics. The artist too savvy to allow the pieces to lose form or shape…even as the sonics teeter on the edge as they rage in a vitriolic maelstrom.

Quite frankly I was taken aback by this release. Immersing myself wholly within these phenomenally dark and stimulating soundscapes made me realise what an incredibly powerful and emotive piece of music I had just experienced . ‘Clipped’ has suddenly shot into one of my recordings of the year. Even if it was recorded way back in 2005. Fuck it…a minor detail. Although I generally hate comparing recordings with each other I would whole heartily say that ‘Clipped’ is the perfect companion piece to ‘Dead Weather Machine’...because their concepts are so closely matched. If you enjoyed that release then by fuck you’re going to love ‘Clipped’. Seriously…its that good. In fact it even surpasses it on many levels in my eyes. A more higher recommendation I cannot give you.