Frank Riggio: Psychexcess II – Futurism (Hymen, 2015)January 30, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
This is the second in a trilogy of aural movies by Riggio. As expected, there is a high level of suspense and widescreen sound design. It’s definitely a lot stranger and more abrasive than a big-budget movie soundtrack would be, though, with lots of intense sound manipulation, oddly tuned acoustic sounds, and fuzz-engulfing industrial technoid beats. There’s vocals, and they even seem to be making out words, but they’re more shadowy and textural than lyrical most of the time. “TTTT” seems like the type of stock techno track that would be in an action film, except there’s instruments like clarinets poking through the buzzing, muscular synths, and other intriguing touches like that. “Elesdee” is more of a subtle, hypnotic Jon Hopkins-type track with some sighing vocals which really burrow the track in your heart. “Flying Psyche II” is a really impressive interlude of fuzzy, granular noises which I wish were expanded into a full song. “M90 To M108” is another supremely fuzzed out lurching groove with some rapidly fluctuating melodies twittering away in the corner. “Sickexcess” has a wet, slippery beat and an electrified fuzz melody, and it sounds exactly like the type of post-dubstep tracks Planet Mu was putting out back when Floating Points was on the label. “Back From Presentism” is a brief track which brings together a lot of the elements of the album: manipulated acoustic instruments (is that a koto?), reversed sounds, spooky vocals, slippery beats, and controlled distortion. The final track (“Deathobsess”) has a bit of a false ending, with a brief passage of glowing static slowly fading in before cutting off abruptly, making one wonder if that’s supposed to segue into the third album of the trilogy, whenever that surfaces.