MYKEL BOYD “New Landscapes” C34 (Park 70)

Now THIS is what I’m talking about – powerful magnets and microphones making intense drone/noise for getting completely lost in. Why more musicians don’t employ magnetism in a way that warps the crap out of their sound sources is beyond me. Is it because magnets could destroy gear? I’m too lazy to look that up, but I know you can wipe a hard drive if you’ve got a magnet powerful enough.

I’m guessing that’s why Mykel Boyd stuck to microphones and kept everything out of reach of his laptop. (I wonder if you can manipulate Garageband files through the screen?) Good thing, too, because otherwise we probably wouldn’t have tapes (especially not the accompanying MP3 downloads) if Boyd had done something ill-considered with the magnets. Instead we get “Solar Tradition” and “Clear Ghosts Forever,” the results of the experimentations. Like their titles intend, these tracks each exhibit a distinct long-form characteristic, the former fizzing like molecules in the sun’s corona, the latter reverberating just out of reach of our physical plane. Or something like that.

Moral of the story: magnets make good instruments when applied properly, and they are applied properly on “New Landscapes.”

Mykel Boyd

Park 70