Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"Synth Eternal" C60

With four spooky folx from Boise, Idaho all collaborating together through modular synthesizers and a microphone, I was expecting something a little more reproductive-organs-to-the-wall, but Memory Smoker are wise. They know that you don’t need to scream to say what you mean. And they are savvy; with those synths, they align and impose many an atonal, effect-tweek-d layer above and below others, never stepping on toes or distracting, but amplifying the moods & meanings. Distortion is sparse and reserved for punch, not just an energy default. Tortured howls, few and far between, maintain their focal status, as do ever-rarer visitations from (dare I say “minor-key”) drones amidst tasteful feedback and haunted factory bump-in-the-night textures.

The effect is a controlled séance by a well established coven who have it down to a science, documenting recurring demonic possessions with the same familiarity one might the shrieks of an electro-shock patient in the psych ward, both emotionally detached and physiologically attentive. It’s a chilling experience, for sure.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan