Jeff Snyder: Sunspots (Carrier Records, 2018)

February 4, 2018 at 10:41 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jeff Snyder: Sunspots

Jeff Snyder recorded this lengthy album of Buchla improvisations at ElektronMusikStudion in Stockholm, using a self-created controller. The first half sounds like classic eerie synth music (Subotnick, The Forbidden Planet, et al), all slowly moving shapes, colors, and phases, acidic burbles, and lengthy ominous pauses. “Sunspots IV” gets a bit hyperactive towards its midsection, with some heavy growls around the third movement and some more rapidly flashing, panic-warnings around the fifth. “Sunspots V” has moments of dread akin to Wolf Eyes (especially their recent work), and lots of suspense. Very slow moving, very creepy. The last two pieces are 18-minute drones; no sudden stops or explosions, just constant waves which sometimes seem to interact and produce chemical reactions. “Sunspots IX” is far more singular, and would be calming if it didn’t seem somewhat distressed. Listen from a distance or a low volume and it might just sound like two or three keys being pressed over and over again. However, listen closely and there’s plenty of subtle, sublime trickery going on.

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