VARIOUS ARTISTS “Psychotropes 2” C64 (Alrealon Musique)

Indonesia has never seemed further away than it does right now. New York too, for that matter – I’m not going to be getting on a plane anytime soon to travel anywhere, so both places are out of the question. I’m sequestering myself until further notice – well, at least until all that COVID is gone.

Why am I talking about Indonesia and New York in virtually the same breath? Great question. Psychotropes 2, out NOW on Alrealon Musique, is an “18 track compilation of noise & electronics from Indonesia and New York, USA,” highlighting the similarities and shared inspirations that can span oceans and continents and cultures. But I don’t know anything about that hogwash – I’m just a philistine with a tape deck and very few interesting insights, pummeling this keyboard with my fists.

So it’s probably pointless to track any sort of progression here – let me just say that it’s an incredible global connection Alrealon Musique has made in bringing together such disparate “noise & electronic” artists. Sure, there’s wall of sound maelstroms and chaotic electronic manipulation, but there’s also storm-clouds-in-the-distance creep and slightly corroded human-voice spectrality. Everything is three-dimensional and tactile in a way that gripping a rock and whipping it through the windshield of a car is three-dimensional and tactile. Not to mention cathartic.

Anger, restlessness, tension, Psychotropes 2 has got it all, telegraphing a universal sense of unease. From where I sit here in the United States, I’m amazed at how easy it is to find common ground through sonic assault. I guess it just goes to show you that, no matter what the language, we can still communicate via racket.