(Astral Spirits / Monofonus Press)

I’m immediately enamored of the names on this release: “More Eaze,” “Jones & Flato,” “Bhob Rainey.” They flit across the edge of my mind like “astral spirits.” As the More Eaze side begins, I’m looking at the cover art and I feel like I’m in the world of Academia-meets-Street-Rapper. I’m mesmerized by the juxtaposition of strange names and the ambiguous punctuation marks that separate them. Steve Flato is a beautiful sounding name, so beautiful that it must be a fake, an alias of some sort, but it isn’t.  “All instances of synthesis and sound captures…” Yes, this is a true instance of synthesis and sound capture—a true rattle from the bottom of the well. Jones & Flato sound like a haunted grain silo. More Eaze sounds like a spaceship. Then Jones & Flato and Bhob Rainey (another beautiful, fake-sounding name) put me to the test with a long, high-frequency segment. Ouch! Steve Flato is interested in the use of music “as a therapeutic tool,” but to me, this last part was just painful.

--Kevin Oliver