JOE COLLEY – Disasters Of Self

Crippled Intellect Productions

A few thoughts on a triple LP set released towards the end of 2010 (preceded by a deluxe 45-copy “artist edition” that sold out in a flash – good luck, should you have any residual hope in a desperate hunt). Disasters Of Self has received critical acclaim everywhere, rightly so. Colley is a rather reticent sound assembler often categorized as a noise monger, but the term is extremely reductive. Let’s just say that he manages to extract absorbing musical kernels from galvanic interference and harmonic dissension, and that a dumbfounding ability in connecting the results inside concisely powerful arguments represents a major asset in his oeuvre. This particular work is a rewarding aural expedition in its thorough lack of frills; it sounds acerbically loaded, the acoustic rendering of rancid cream dripping from a three-day-old doughnut left under the sun.

The sources – as always – are not specified by the deus ex machina, though one can learn that malfunctioning gizmos, analogue synthesis and field recordings are important factors in the equation. A huge gratification is given by the loops, utilized with skilfulness to spare and characterized by a latent tension imbued with compositional talent. Colley devoted a third of the album to a series of pocket-sized cyclical scraps – including brief phrases enunciated by bleary-toned voices – encapsulated by locked grooves on the vinyl; my suggestion, in order to avoid becoming mad for the continuous visits to the turntable to push the needle forward, is recording the whole on an audio DVD and enjoying it all at once. A classic case of release in which density of substance and depth of consequence warrant hours upon hours of much needed enthralment. Elbow grease for our neural structure in absence of manifest messages.

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