THE BUREAU OF NONSTANDARDS – The Bureau Of Nonstandards


Kevin C. Smith utilizes circuit-bent machinery, including Texas Instruments’ Speak & Spell and Speak & Read, Power Gear Voice Changer and a fabulous Tiger Electronics Furby (a toy that had a great success in this reviewer’s land of retards a while ago). The sounds he generates are processed in real time via laptop by Maurice Rickard, the whole without additional overdubs or subsequent interventions. This results in a captivating record, halfway through serious electronica and a total joke, wealthy in good humour (those modified voices are a gas indeed) but, surprisingly, also connecting to deeper points of view.

Drones are not omitted yet belong to the evil-tempered, malformed kind, suddenly turning into ill-disposed creatures willing to pickpocket a saint’s patience, or bloodthirsty regenerations of preposterously unpropitious frequencies emitted by tiny fiends endowed with musicality to spare. If you give the CD to your children, they might grow to be a type of mini-nerd who at least should be a little more quick-minded than their “brain-melted-in-front-of-a-Playstation” schoolmates. Seriously, this stuff is worthy of attention, especially after knowing that all the pieces were improvised in live contexts (always in Smith’s hometown: Pittsburgh, PA). Despite the low-budget sort of cleverness, we receive absolute originality in exchange. Go for it – and play loud.

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