Dead Machines Futures

[Troubleman Unlimited; 2005]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: vintage John Olson kung fu machine jizz
Others: anything involving John Olson or one of his cronies

Bleep bizzzzzzzzz whirrrr whip howl crack cackle wizzz wizzzz wizzzz whir click click click screeeeech buzz clonk screech buzz cronk fuzzzzz reaareerrreeerrreeerrreeerrreeerrr!! Welcome to the world of John Olson. It's a strange, muddled world where man speaks through various altered pieces of musical equipment. On the Dead Machines project, Olson is joined by his wife, Tovah O'Rourke of the periodically stunning Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice. The project involves a sort of electronic conversation between the two musicians, similar to CDRs put out by Wolf Eyes. Futures, the band's Troubleman Unlimited debut, is no different than other recordings that I have heard from the band (which, according to the complete discography included in the package, is approximately 1/16th). That said, people who are into the prototypical Olson jam-noise project should seek this out.

I particularly enjoyed this album. If I was reviewing it for Blastitude and I knew my target audience consisted of the niche market for this album, I would give it a shiny review. There are some particularly amazing moments on the album where the group replicates natural sounds with sound generators. They even ape avant-classicists with the simply amazing lush/hard-edged ambience of "Track 4." The sound is certainly more full and speaker-shattering than it ever was before. My main problem with the album is that I feel that Dead Machines should have upped their game for this release. Last year's brilliant Sub Pop debut for Wolf Eyes was a high watermark in full-length noise albums. It was an actual album that had a common thread running through each song. I realize that Dead Machines and Wolf Eyes are two separate projects, but I felt that the Machines would somehow do the same thing. Instead, Futures feels like a best-of Dead Machines jam-session, with a little added production value. It is not a good introduction to the band, but it is a conformation for those already initiated into the cult of Olson.

1. Untitled
2. Untitled
3. Untitled
4. Untitled
5. Untitled