Seth Graham: Gasp LP (Orange Milk, 2018)

March 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Seth Graham: Gasp LP

Seth Graham’s first vinyl LP (following a grip of cassettes, both solo and with Keith Rankin as Cream Juice) continues in the hyperrealist mode as the majority of Orange Milk’s recent output, acting as a more classical-influenced counterpoint to the latest Giant Claw album, and also complementing the label’s recent Noah Creshevsky album/anthology. This one certainly doesn’t sound as squishy and slurpy as 2014 tape Goop. Instead, it’s more focused on brief pieces consisting of heavily glitched shreds of stringed instruments and voices, flickering across a backdrop of silence. Some tracks like “Binary Tapioca” head into a bit more of a rhythm, and are more heavily populated with sounds, but I don’t want to say they’re overstuffed or dense because it still feels like there’s so much space to them. There’s so many moments where everything seems still for a while, then several sounds crash through at once, and it rapidly switches between being ecstatic, silly, frightening, regal, and somewhat melancholy. “Mas Que Fin” basically sounds like someone circuit bent or hacked into an episode of Teletubbies. The brief final track “Talk” seems to mangle, stretch, and condense an epic string crescendo into a minute and a half, leaving out any anticipation-building tension and just delivering a grating rush, then slapping it down and ending suddenly as if nothing happened. Gasp is such a perfect title for an album so breathtaking, yet also concise.

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