Philip Perkins: Yeah Machine (Artifact Recordings, 2019)

September 14, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Philip Perkins: Yeah Machine

Philip Perkins is an experimental composer and sound engineer who has been releasing music since the ’70s, mostly on his own Fun Music label. This one is actually on Artifact Recordings, a long-running Bay Area experimental label which recently returned after a period of inactivity. This is a series of “live performances using recorded, made, found, purchased and stolen sounds”, and it’s filled with scenes from everyday life, yet they’re amplified, layered, and sometimes crashing into each other. The incidental rhythms of transit or machinery are present, but nothing resembling beats or drums to carry this along. It’s very hyperrealist, with normal, recognizable sounds twisted into strange, hallucinatory forms. Sometimes it gets a bit frightening, like the way “dahns” evolves from sickly popping noises which sound mouth-generated to a ghostly drone choir. Even a music box or chimes sound sinister on “nebawn”. “m2” is a sudden all-at-once explosion of laughter, police sirens, and breaking glass. And you’ll ponder an explanation for that flock of crows during “1-6”.

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