Monday, April 7, 2014

Michael Saunders / John Sandia

Ey yo, this here be some straight up freshmen college dorm room bromance ambient digital noise, FRESH. Two dudes duding it with sequencers and loopers and all sorts of improvisation!

Michael Saunders

Mac-0-maniac Michael Saunders blows out my walkman's speakers with blabbing hip hop loops and repeating fog horn fuzz bass lines. Reversing and dramatically warping in pitch, sonic borg transmissions are repeated at an unsettling rate while digital microphone feedback drivel vomits on the floor of a desolated canoe lost somewhere in the Atlantic. Gritty and not without a punk rock edge, Michael Saunders isn't afraid to get meditatively aggressive. I think the solo noise act can be very effective, however, listening to how sweet the rhythmic loops Saunders develops with his sporadic synthetic chords and microphone feedback demands the collaboration with something more melodic, analog or shifting in narrative or tone. Saunders' sonic hailstorm develops slowly but surely. However, sometimes I think Saunders is suffering from trying to do too much with too little.

John Sandia

Sandia is initially higher in pitch and breathier. The beginning melody, mixed with radio transmission feedback, sounds like a flute. It's eventually completely obliterated by nonsensical analog noise. The pounding percussion provided is infantile and random. Suddenly some type of electric guitar is present and we're inside the temperament of some one psychologically bleeding. That abandoned canoe, the one I mentioned about on side A? It's drifted into a river of lava. The elfish agents of Satan himself are now laughing at you waving pitchforks from neighboring island coasts.

But my journey into this world wears out its sonic welcome. It ceases to be transcendent once its primal backbone is heard for too long. It becomes background too quickly once it is apparent nothing new melodic will develop most likely. I applaud the low-fi, DIY philosophy of this cassette, but it could use a mixing job. What I believe is great reverberation of found sound could really be cleaned up. Each channel of sound should and could be more defined and identifiable.

The end of this cassette sounds like a guy taking out the trash and some alley cat meowing. Literally. So final verdict: These guys are cool but they shouldn't quit their day jobs yet.

Check it out: www.bluepoles.bandcamp.com
bluepolesrecordings@gmail.com

--Jack Turnbull

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