“Organic Vapor” C30 (self-released)

What do you worship? If you’re like me, you worship the almighty Audio at the Cosmic Church of Experimental Sound, based, exactly where you’d expect, in Greenville, South Carolina. There, I lay my burdens down at the Noise Altar, surrendering the sins of The Great Deceiver, Rock and Roll, to a higher power. I am cleansed of those wicked, rhythmic transgressions. I am redeemed by the blood of sound art.

Indeed, Noise Altar is an experimentalist’s dream, trafficking in all sorts of pleasurable sonics and coming across just as organic as the title of this tape would suggest. There are synthesizer blursts, found-sound loop patterns, and cut-up instrumentation, all stitched together into two 15-minute sides of bliss. I like what Noise Altar says about itself: “minimal, expansive, quirky, mechanical, warm.” I agree wholeheartedly, especially in the warmth exuded through these passages. They’re not ambient, they don’t drift – they’re incredibly active and constantly changing, but they feel as benevolent as New Age music can get without sounding New Age in the slightest. Nice trick, there.

Maybe we don’t need all that religious imagery after all, and we can just enjoy Organic Vapor for what it portends to be: an elegant, exploratory experience of natural musical creation, stripped of pretense and vainglory, wafting through your ear canals. Either that or we’ll have to start sacrificing stuff again. At the foot of the Noise Altar. Where’s my sacramental blade? I’m gonna gut a transistor radio and record the sound in the name of Audio.

--Ryan Masteller