Illusion of Safety: Organ Choir Drone (No Part Of It, 2023)

March 19, 2023 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Illusion of Safety: Organ Choir Drone

Organ Choir Drone is edited down from hours of material recorded by Daniel Burke, including his first Eurorack modular synthesizers recordings, used for a performance with Shen Wei Dance Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. “Children of the Fear and Light” is where to start if you’re interested in hearing modular synths at their gnarliest, and it matches its title with swarming movements that bring to mind a giant radioactive insect monster from an old sci-fi movie, plus there’s the faint sound of chattering children near the end. “Organic Pistons” seems to be where the album title comes from, as it’s just a really beautiful, almost sacred-sounding organ piece. “Waste of Civilization” contains piercing, high-pitched frequencies throughout much of it, as well as scrambled masses of radio-transmitted voices, but much of the other synth work is more peaceful, so it ends up somewhere between serenity and confusion. “Black Helicopters” appropriately starts out with violently shredding/chopping distortion, then flows through various amounts of disorienting buzzing and droning, as well as gentler guitar manipulations that subtly trick the mind. “Groundswell Horns” is the longest track, at 19 minutes, and it starts out with some more higher frequencies and desolate wandering. Some slight glitching, rustling, and clicking emerges, making it feel like things are barely holding together and on the verge of collapse. The rest of the piece is a very slow, gradual build, bubbling and shifting until everything starts moving faster and more forcefully, drilling into the core at the very end. Once that’s achieved, there’s little else that can be done, so the brief finale “Blackout” is two minutes of a faint, sickly gnawing feeling until everything expires.

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