♫♪  Kevin Drumm - “Wrong Intersection”

Multi-instrumentalist composer-slash-noise-lord Kevin Drumm has been called many things over the course of his two-decade musical career: iconoclast, master, supervillain, auteur, unforgiving sonic deity, sorcerer with full command over the passage of time. I know that he has been called those things at least one time because I myself am the one who just called him those things, right there in the previous sentence. Few working musicians have generated a catalog of depth, power, and diversity to match Drumm’s tireless experimentations, as documented over the course of 80+ solo releases on labels like Erstwhile, Hanson Records, Editions Mego, and Hospital Productions. In 2014 alone, Mr. Drumm blessed us with the gorgeous and nearly inaudible murmurings of Trouble, the glistening drone consonance of Shut In, and a trio of grueling white noise experiments on The Damned Sort — not to mention the no-questions-asked AOTY contender The Abyss in collaboration with fellow prolific noise guru Jason Lescalleet.

But lo! What’s that I see approaching us in our reveries from out on the horizon? Another Kevin Drumm full-length, this time in a limited edition of CDs on Handmade Birds, entitled Wrong Intersection. Ever the practitioner of the impossibly slow creep through ambient stasis, Drumm’s long form compositions have expanded more and more often lately past the 40+ minute mark, requiring the relatively large capacity of CDs to document their full durations and the relatively long attention span of his fans to process them. Instead of harnessing these might-as-well-be-infinite running times to pave over our consciousnesses with unobtrusive ambiance, Wrong Intersection speeds through a series of disparate segments across its 47 minute presentation, each documenting a particular facet of Drumm’s extreme practice. We enter a din of searing static whistles, a passage of humming oscillator voices nudging against each other in microtonal dissonance, overlaid field recordings that stack nighttime nature hums over each other, and swathes of sub-bass vying for space in the mix with abstracted noise formants. Taken as a whole in one sitting, the piece leads you by the hand through enough dissociative aural terrain as to render your physical surroundings inconsequential. Drumm sketches the space, and with headphones on, or with speakers blaring, we walk in awe through it, trying hard not to leave any footprints.

• Kevin Drumm: https://kevindrumm.bandcamp.com
• Handmade Birds: http://www.handmadebirds.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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