RICK REED – The Way Things Go

Elevator Bath

The Way Things Go is a double vinyl album released in the spring of 2011, inclusive of a code for a digital download (in mp3 format). Rick Reed has gathered six works realized in the 2001-2010 time span, but there’s actually no conspicuous difference in repercussive strength between a piece and another. The instrumentation used by the American composer – we might even start calling him “maverick”, for he truly deserves this worn out credential – comprises as usual historic analogue synthesizers, short (and sine) waves, and found sounds of different derivation. No room for laptops in this matchless universe. The mission is attributing a tangible multi-dimensionality to a wide-ranging vibration, without forgetting the underlying psycho-social implications. The very cover of this limited edition is adorned by Reed’s own artwork that, possibly better than any other rationalization, connects with his research on the pliability of evil-boding timbres mixed with the echoes of an existing underworld, perfectly symbolized by the mutating ruggedness of “Capitalism Child Labor”.

Sporadically associated with artists whose abstractions represent a trademark, Reed details instead his sonic routes in rather graphic fashion. It’s easy to be riveted by disturbing resonance, gradual sloping and intense throbbing, especially when exploiting consistent volume in large environments. Dithering pitches and uneven dynamics set a few traps for the listeners’ attentiveness, lulling them inside half-catatonic spirals replete with low-frequency rubdowns (“Celestial Mudpie” and, in particular, “Hidden Voices Pt.1”) or weirdly configured loops (the title track’s finale at the end of the set). On a close listen, though, it appears that the man’s talent is not so much as a dispatcher of nonfigurative bulletins, in spite of the supreme significance of every shade – blurred or less. What Reed manages to warrant, which is still a prohibitive target for many practitioners employing comparable sources, is our full comprehension of each passage according to a logic of innate consecutiveness that furnishes all the tracks with an aura of inescapability. The sort of matter that needs no justification or intellectual breakdown, the sheer acoustic indicator of an evolution that we, as individual beings, should have implemented a long while ago and now lies dying amidst millions of self-styled good intentions, futile words carving unspoken desperation into billions of brains.

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