Genre: Experimental / Electronics
02 Back to minus
03 Mirror faces Mirror
On one of the books on Orson Scott card's series of stories that started with "Ender's Game" and went on for centuries over centuries into the future, a question was asked. Why do we think that every sentient being is sentient in the same way that we are, and furthermore, what happens when we meet someone who communicates in a method so alien to us that neither can understand how the other side is attempting to make contact, let alone understand what each side is trying to say. As these words are being typed, a rusting satellite ended its mission in our solar system a few years ago, and will forever travel towards infinity from now on. On that satellite there is a golden plate with a picture of a man and a woman, along with written information about our species and furthermore, with a recorded loop, saying "Please contact us. We are your friends." Over and over.
Assuming whoever finds this piece of old construct will understand what it means because, well, we understand it of course! We will, someday, hopefully, learn that the world "alien" as in "different" might mean different in more ways that we can imagine. With time, we learn little by little. If you want to introduce happy hippie music that is celebrating freedom to the waltz dancers of 19 th century Germany, you are going to find many confused faces. The same could happen if the musical explorers of space rock of the seventies could hear TL0741's "Back To Minus", for instance, with vocabulary changed so much it is barely the same language anymore.
"Orchrustra" Begins with a low hum that serves the background to an ever-growing number of voices. Insanely conversing with each other, these sounds create patterns and inner rhythms that leave the listener to wonder about their true nature and meaning. Resembling a lost recording of something alien through a rusty speaker, Orchrustra stands out as a monument, telling stories you cannot possibly understand. At times, some ideas might be related to the musical screams you can find on some of nurse with wound's albums. Tiny sounds that are almost trying to see if they can break the tension between the artist and the listener. Other sounds are harsher and rougher, taking up more space and volume, sometimes swallowing the other elements.
However, it is their structure that stands out the most. "Back to minus" is an experimental album in the sense that it seems as if its creator, Pat Gillis, is trying to balance as many objects as he possible can. In this attempt great tension is created through the various languages that these sounds have, and throughout these five tracks this tension is being kept, if not tightened, without breaking up. On "Simmervolts", the suspense is getting heavy, with high shrieks hovering above low hums that seem to float together in the dense space that is always apparent throughout the album. It is alien, it is escaping any attempt to understand and predict its behaviour. But it is a wise array of sounds and I am sitting and enjoying its alien reason. "Morphantasia" bids farewell with the album's best attempt to communicate with me. With hints for a melody that used to pulse under layers upon layers of feedbacked sounds. It is a gold plate with a song written on it.
But by now, the different events that have scorched the original melody beyond recognition and created something else instead, are much more interesting. Like a golden plate with the old drawing of us human beings, but with a much more interesting array of frozen dust or dead bacteria that will be far more interesting than a mere drawing.
So is there a message in all this? Maybe. But "Back To Minus" uses this message, whatever it is, as a canvas for its aesthetics. A highly recommended adventure indeed!