Szely Processing Other Perspectives

[Mosz; 2007]

Styles: abstract electronic melodrama, glitch
Others: Klangkrieg, Dopplereffekt, Brume, Etant Donnés

Szely : from Austria. Does lots of A/V installations. Works with friends. Makes a delicious racket

(The malfunctioning of an alarm system. Stuttering laser beams and guitar loops that writhe like snakes moving across puddles of acid, underneath a tidy drum pattern, segue into free-jazz drumming and horn samples that are recycled, clipped, and sent wandering through dusky channels à la Ekkehard Ehlers. Evanescent tweeting and garbled, percussive bursts of guitar tone above an ant farm of crawling arpeggios; as “Theme-2” nears its midpoint, spacious synth pads quell the teeming activity, an almost post-coital loosening of the tension built up in the piece’s first ten minutes.

“Theme-3” begins with drums that feel like the most gentle hands padding a mattress for a little morsel of slide guitar and some yawning notes engulfed in reverb; the languid, overlapping motifs and hissing beats give the impression of treading water in a pool full of needles.

Physicality: shape instead of sound: static as the mold: track takes on a scattered geometry: points in a field instead of circles (handcuffs) of I-IV-V.

Enough has happened by “Theme-5” that Szely can begin to re-use his own sounds without sounding dull; Nina Erber’s voice becomes another skein of echo warped into the rotary percussion and stray melodic elements. This part is pretty.

Cue the rough transition: floating harmonics and inverted guitar patterns give way to the splashy, phasered arpeggios and static, both treated with attack and authoring it. Raw telephones trill; “shhhh”; this part is interesting.

An hour put to good use. It’s best to listen once and then reflect: “Objects in mirror are more clever than they appear.”

“Theme-7” has a yodeling horn bit, reminiscent of Phil Ranelin, and surges of panned guitar acquire thundercloud girth and overpower the cymbalwork for the first time. Brass as synthesizer in a bell jar.

“Theme-8” lasts 11 minutes. It’s a glitched-out Scott Walker romp: Melita Jurisic spells doom while the guitar throbs like the walls of a church in an earthquake. The lyrics could be more poetic, but this piece is more about conflict than content. By six minutes, it seems like the track is ready to climax, as Jurisic’s voice “I feel so inaaaaaane!” doubles back on itself…what we thought was guitar has become an organ. The voice mutates, the thrumming continues. At ten minutes, everything falls away except a warbling sine wave.

Five minute caesura, five minute reprise, drive home safely. Open glove compartment; remove ballpoint and pistol; do with what you will.)

and has the gall to call it “p.o.p.”

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