Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Diamond Terrifier - "Shrine Flu" cs (Words+Dreams)


  Sam Hillmer aka: saxophone man-machine behind Brooklyn avant-chamber/noise/everything group Zs,  offers his debut recording under the Diamond Terrifier guise, with a lengthy electro/brass meditation for the Words+Dreams label, entitled Shrine Flu.Unlike his tight, effect-driven saxophone surgery he's most known for with Zs, his approach on this cassette holds more of a cerebral, atmospheric vibe, focusing more on the moment, rather than the end result, or destination.He displays total control at all times, and even though it isn't the most blatantly structured or accessible music on the planet, there's definitely an underlying balance of both pleasant and harsh in these hazy movements, with a soothing calmness hidden somewhere within the chaos.

  Side A's title track creeps in with what sounds like the warm hum of an exhausted tube amp, followed by a slow burning saxophone loop and random knob tweaking.After numerous repetitions gently dance over your brain, you finally start to catch on to the hidden melody that's been repeating, and it's just then when things begin to open up a bit and flourish.The brash wails of his  instrument resonate so heavily at one point, that they started bouncing off of my bedroom walls, filling the room with a hypnotic, reverberated tone.Hillmer's breathy notes slowly turned into more piercing and controlled squeals, as the layers of loops begin to pile up, a thick percussive pulse comes into play, making for a highly rewarding finish.Total magic.

  Side B's "Chicken  Shamen" and "Porcupine Quills" both offer up a rather metallic and clanking vibe,with the latter  sounding something like Ornette Coleman being played from a busy metal shop radio, and heavily soaked in effects.After a few minutes of random machine rattling, Hillmer's sax bursts in out of nowhere, with sharp blasts of high-pitched squeals and  barely audible notes coming at you from all sides.Washes of (intentionally) sour scales are being slammed against each other in no particular time or place, and it's a total attack on the senses from there on.Somewhere within the heavy sax assault though, lies a low electronic hum that repeats quietly throughout the swells, keeping up a sort of sneaking momentum.There's an urgent and electric vibe going on here for a while as things begin to peak, and just when you'd least expect it , total silence.

A stunning debut,  and insightful prequel  to his upcoming LP on Northern Spy in the fall.Get a copy of Shrine Flu from Words+Dreams now.Edition of 250.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review but not actually the debut: that's "Himalayan Apalacha" tape on Sockets Recs.

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