Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Artist: Abstractive Noise (@)
Title: Of the Adder’s Bite
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
I had not heard of this artist, but I recognized the label that he ran, Impulsive Art. This is the work of Greek artist Panagiotis Pagonis, and the name of the project is a bit deceiving. I opened the case and saw liner notes from one of my favorite passages of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, describing Zarathustra's interaction with the adder who bit him. As such, I settled in for a nice round of noise. But that is not what you get here. This is a concept album of sorts; according to the press sheet, 'the main 'character' who is a male in his normal form is trapped in a gigantic machine-world that is revealed as a woman (or a woman in the form of a machine). . . . The first chapter is the awakening and the realization of the machine's existence. The second chapter is the struggle for escape and the last is the understanding that there is no way of doing so.' OK. So there is no real way I would have gotten this out of the music, but it is enjoyable listening in its own right. We open with some dark neoclassical with strings and a slow moving rhythm. Some of the standout pieces include 'Machine (phase 1),' which brings in rhythms made with chains on floors, a violin in staccato, and the soundtrack to all of those nights that you stayed up too late watching the scary movie on TV after you should have gone to bed. Remember those times? This is what you were hearing. 'Trap' is a nice aggressive number, like the soundtrack to a chase scene in your dreams. Cello and bass lay down a punchy staccato line that provides a good counterpoint to the languid violins. 'Of the Adder's Bite (1st Movement)' is a piano and strings piece reminiscent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Overall, this is nice cinematic music. If you like the 'Optical Music' series by In The Nursery, this would be one to pick up. This album weighs in at around 47 minutes.


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