Thomas Dimuzio: Sutro Transmissions LP (Resipiscent Records, 2020)

January 19, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Thomas Dimuzio: Sutro Transmissions LP

Longtime experimental musician and mastering engineer Thomas Dimuzio has been working with Buchla modular synths for some time now, and this is his first LP created entirely using the setup, edited down from two live improvisations recorded on Haight Street in San Francisco, near where the synthesizer was invented. The first side (recorded in 2018) begins with a scrambled burst of FM radio transmissions and algorithmic processes, eventually all concentrated into a drone-ray. Right when it all seems tranquil, a cosmic bubble bursts and a loud electronic interruption occurs; it’s always startling every time I listen, even when I know it’s coming. The second side, recorded three years earlier, starts out with another soup of voices, shredded tones, and scrambled frequencies, seeming to rise up in tension without settling into a proper rhythm. Still, there’s some recurring voices and tones that emerge from the sonic gumbo, including a man saying “Don’t worry” and a particularly longing vocal manipulation. It all feels like it’s whirling around in the ether, but at the same time it’s all being deliberately stirred around by some invisible force. The audio particles hold together, but infrequent infusions of static still occur, with remnants of voices allowed final chances to be heard before completely disintegrating.

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