Saturday, September 10, 2016
“The Celestial Music of Comfort Link”
Maybe I was wrong to expect cosmic synthesizer workouts à la Cluster, but The Celestial Music of Comfort Link, the title on its own, certainly calls that to mind. It’s not that. It’s most definitely not that. But first:
Let’s address the design of the physical artifact, shall we? Gosh, is this thing stupendous. “Covers and cassette labels are hand-made from 1920s letterpress celestial diagrams with typewriter text.” Look at that picture up there and tell me you’re not falling in love with it already. You have to hold it in your hand to get the full effect, as the paper is this, from an old book, a piece of history reinscribed with new meaning. It’s delicate and expertly made. And the cassette is red!
Looks aside, Comfort Link makes music that takes you to other universes. It’s crafted from found sound, and it’s presented as “spontaneous tape collage.” As the samples repeat and deteriorate, the audio, piped in from another place, causes feelings of discovery. It broadcasts the gradual thinning of a veil that separates worlds, exposing the frayed edges of lost portals. In fact, the first passage on side A (among other places) even sounds like a recording of interstellar resonance, looped and processed into patterns. Maybe it’s the noise a wormhole makes!
This mysterious Baltimore sound artist brings to mind artists like Basinski, Jeck, and Kirby – certainly heady company. It’s worth tracking down this tape to get lost in, no matter what you expect. The result is stunning any way you slice it.