SETH GRAHAM “Gasp” (Orange Milk / Noumenal Loom)

[A collaborative review; italics: Jacob An Kittenplan; roman: Ryan Masteller]

“My desire is for you to stop being a fuck wad.” —Seth Graham

“No, seriously, stop being such a fuck wad.” —Seth Graham

“Gasp!” —the national media

“Damn, that’s a good idea.” —Seth Graham

The anger distilled into chaos. The chaos splattered with pink slime. The slime-coated chaos sprinkled with jimmies. What melts in the minds of humans hardens into EQ spikes, like the dying final breath of a bassoon clicking with precise afterlife.

Seth Graham killed a bassoon. Let’s not lie to ourselves.


Master of juxtaposition, servant of none, what hath “The Cream” (or was he “The Juice”?) paired seemingly effortlessly this time around? Staccato and Legato, for sure, as percussive scattershot slices and dices through most modest swaths of reverberating, disembodied consonance. And surely acoustic classical instruments and ccllaassssiicc MIDI culture and cheese get the brain all congested and discombobulated, as does the electroacoustic phenomena wiggling all willy-nilly alongside (Inside? As Above and So Below?) the equally dished out electronically limited glitch?


Barfing classical music in a free-jazz whirlwind, Graham’s computer somehow makes its music with Photoshop while jolting the maestro himself with electricity, probing his mind and freezing his hands to the keyboard via 2400 watts of pure <em>juice</em>. Is the computer sentient? Is it running Orange Milk Records? We have to ask these questions, you know. These days it’s confusing to understand what is source and what is output, what is composed and what is random.

But then again, Seth might just be having a go at us.


How, like, seriously playful? How lethal said whimsy? How much “ITAKEITBACK” must a sonic posit make before being completely forgotten? Such are the conundrums within the wizardrous mixing of Gasp.


That brain of yours has got to crack right down the middle, like a boulder-battered windshield, before it can reconstitute any of this. Seth’s laptop screen is a blank spider web of blunt force trauma, the contents of its hard drive backed up to a lake where an entire orchestra wanders knee-deep in the shallows, attempting to play from memory everything Seth’s ever created.

Don’t you get it? The orchestra is the hard drive!


Keep in mind that under zero conditions could this album be actualized (with 80% fidelity) live.


And it’s soaking wet.

This is modern classical!

Brain, meet retooled functionality. Orchestra, meet your greatest performative challenge.


One cannot pair the jangle of pocketed pennies with fiercely pounded tympani, lest it be expertly curated.


When we have listened to ourselves, to our forebears and contemporaries, we can eschew obligation – along with things such as “structure” and “modern technology” – and metamorphose into that great incandescent magma-like density, hovering without gravitational limits or buoyed by heretofore unknown space-metal pinpricks. Such is the magic of the OM, that time and space are suspended to allow for these timbral and dynamic extremes to parley, interweave,  s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e, crystalyyyze and, really, like, to really get the fuck down, to get the fuck w-e-i-r-d, for the sake of psychoacoustic partying! And there stands Gasp above the pulverized remains of our former selves, heartstopping, jawbreaking joy in the face of everlasting fuck wads. What is there to understand here? Smash the bassoon! Gasp into the void!

-- Jacob An Kittenplan and Ryan Masteller