David First
Same Animal, Different Cages Vol. 2: Solomonos for Analog Synthesizer [LP; Fabrica]

It’s shameful but I’ll admit it: I was anxious for the first selection from David First’s Same Animal, Different Cages Vol. 2: Solomonos for Analog Synthesizer LP (on ghostly transparent butter-yellow wax) to end. Then, I moved on to the second cut, “S&H,” and realized that, well, this was going to be an even tougher listen than the first edition of Same Animal, Different Cages that I reviewed a few years back. It’s like Black Dice shed all its members but one and became super-minimal and repetitious, or one of the members of Esplendor Geometrico went crazy and began repeating phrases rather than weirding us all out with layers of sickness. First, foremost, is a truly singular entity, stubbornly WHO HE IS and so uncompromising as to be almost unattainable to all but the most entrenched exp. freaks and minimal-leaning noiseniks. Then again, with outfits like The Haters around, what am I flippin’ my wig about? This is much cozier than a hard-noise shovel to the skull, and to me much more enjoyable. It’s almost impossible to find deviations within the patterns (not actually sure if “patterns” is the right word, but it’s all I got right now) themselves, so I’ve found my mind actually makes them up, attaching meaning where it may or may not be and finding small stories within the small wrinkles of stranger-than-strange outings like “Bassdronemod.” To me the best ear-snake is “Dronemod1,” a slithering, sinister stretch that offers more of a traditional head-rush as it drowns in its own shedded skin and attempts to wiggle its way underground, and “S&H-Switch-MW,” a squiggly mini-skronk-out that squishes its contents into jelly while your ears do their best just to find a foothold. A veteran of the Robert & Leopold and Dais labels, First chooses his friends wisely/carefully and is even more detail-obsessed when it comes to his audio output, as no break from the norm is too marginal in his mind, no strain of sounds too foreign or un-musical to explore. Same Animal, Different Cages Vol. 2: Solomonos for Analog Synthesizer is another triumph, and, thankfully, it doesn’t achieve its aims through the same methods as most musicians you listen to. Like I think I said last time around, you’re gonna have to earn your small-run, tape-scene, all-around-underground-music-head stripes on this one. And remember, if you’re not First, you’re last.

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