Timeghost Cellular

[Load; 2015]

Styles: modular drone, micronoise, industrial, spoken word
Others: bees, phones, bacteria, Head Boggle, Bee Mask, Throbbing Gristle

Cellular, as in division, and also as in cell phones. Cellular bits of data, broken up and fed back through analog speakers — cellphone calls, blip-blip buzzing a percolating rhythm on “Cellular Automata’s” opening seconds — then a chorus of squirming bacteria and fractured phone calls divide and multiply. Timeghost’s perplexing electronics display Adam Morosky’s skill as a sensory manipulator, a crafter of frantic, pulsating sonic experiences, as well as his unique mood and composition. He has a curious vision, with range and uncanny ability as an avant-garde producer.

“Logic through complexity,” utters Adam Morosky on “Phantom Ring,” in a funereal monotone. “Succumb to the virus, lose yourself… you are nothing.” Despite the macabre pitch, this is actually a direct negotiation with the listener. This album is built up of layers of disorienting electronics, gritty buzzing noise, and thick drones that swirl around Morosky as he disperses unsettling ruminations about parasites and human experimentation — some of the lyrics are derived from the text of the Nuremberg Code — but never to alienate the listeners. He’s like a biologist numb to the danger of a disease from years of studying it, who’s now obsessed with its morbid beauty and wishing to share it. Timeghost explores bizarre subject matter as well as curious frequencies, the points where a percussed note gives way to new textures and tones, ear-pricking pointillism with a certain sonic friction. In other words, it requires lowering some amount of resistance to unwanted noises.

It’s the kind of technique an experimental musician develops through gear abuse and what I suspect is some level of synaesthesia. It feels inimitable, undefinable; it’s too caustic to be called drone, but only skirts the edges of power electronics’s level of violence. Sharp tones and quick decays abound as Timeghost builds synthetic environments, like “Phantom Ring’s” tape-rewind water torture or the clicking swarms of “Cellular Automata.” Many of the songs remain in one place, generating a quasi-musical racket of crisp sound, a choir of bugs and phones, serving as a surreal backdrop for Morosky’s poems. In some places, it’s a little looser, like “Delicate Resonances” and its Dada-romantic atmosphere. “Uber Orgone” in particular sounds downright golden and occasionally revolutionary, a chattering cymbal over an opera improvisation proving the least expected of successful pairings. It’s impatient music, a flurry of fractal changes and frightening suggestions, not a particularly comfortable listen by way of subject matter or relative harmony. But it’s fascinating like microbes under a microscope, a world of logic and complexity beneath its uncanny surface.

Links: Load

Most Read