Monday, June 1, 2020
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Artist: Homogenized Terrestrials (@)
Title: The Contaminist
Format: CD
Label: Intangible Cat (@)
Rated: *****
Homogenized Terrestrials is the name under which Phil Klampe creates his aural magic and from what I understand he has a sizable catalog of recordings since the early/mid-eighties. This is the first I'd ever heard of him but the one thing I love about reviewing for Chain D. L. K. is that I get to discover a great amount of interesting music and bring it to your attention. I don't believe Homogenized Terrestrials has ever been reviewed here before. Klampe (as Homogenized Terrestrials) has been involved with Hal McGee, Brian Noring (FDR tapes), Charles Rice Goff III, Headless Ballerinas Underwater, Rebekah's Tape, Dog Hallucination, and others. 'The Contaminist' release being my first exposure to H.T., I had no idea what to expect, except for a cryptic comparison to Robin Storey, Mark Spybey (D.V.O.A.), Coil, Brian Eno and Christian Fennesz on the one-sheet. Actually, from what I'm hearing it seems closer to Spybey's Dead Voice on Air than the others. I notice some similarity to the Russian Vetvie label artists ' Vresnit, Lunar Abyss Deus Organum, Hladna, etc.), although their works usually consist of longer pieces. If 'The Contaminist' could be construed as ambient, then this is full-on, not so minimal ambient. The sonic palette is chock-full of events ' loops, patterns, drones, atmospheres, percussion, samples, etc. Even when a piece may seem to be minimal, it really isn't. The 13 pieces vary widely in tone and temperament, sometimes even within the pieces themselves. An unfocused ear might construe them as semi-random sound collages, but I do believe there is a method to the madness of Homogenized Terrestrials. Speaking of that name, there isn't much that sounds homogenized or terrestrial on 'The Contamanist'; in fact the name may be the very antithesis of the music.

One of the most unsettling yet cohesive pieces is 'Two Ay Emm' with its robotic alarm chime loop, stringed instrument scraping, and ebb 'n' flow phased strings. Imagine waking up out of a sound sleep at 2am and hearing this! Whoa! Very surreal. And that's only a portion of what's going on. Some of the sounds created by Klampe are truly enigmatic. There is one in 'Spurk' that might be something backwards and is used only intermittently but it's quite intriguing. I have no idea how he came up with it. Klampe is also fond of voices, chorus or choir voices, both synthetic and sample-based. They crop up in a number of compositions. Although much of this is arrhythmic and non-melodic, there are spots where rhythm and melody do show up, not necessarily together, and sometimes disguised as something else. 'Shinth' is a good example where there's a kind of a bellish gamelan thing going on also with bowed strings; rhythmic and melodic, but not like you'd think. 'The Contaminist' is really a cornucopia of different soundscapes, and very likely there is much you'll enjoy to be found here. It's also beguiling enough to warrant repeated plays. Neat photo artwork by Phil Klampe on the CD wallet too.

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