Milo Fine: electronic piano (electronics); voice
Sin-expiating solo set recorded in 2010 in Minneapolis, the follow-up to Sound Carvings (taped two years prior). We had already analyzed the genesis and ideology of these works here; what was heard on CDR then is burnt on a fully fledged formal release today.
Extended stretches are outlined by ceaseless malformed tones – modulated to the maximum possible degree – oscillating unsteadily to signify the near-zero point of commonly intended cerebral apprehension, in favor of “enhanced perception” on a subtler, non-rational level. Movements that become nearly “visual” with the entry of an unlawful type of interference; imagine a lacerated didgeridoo stuck inside a cheap pipe organ holding fixed chords. Amidst twisted lines, solitary mega-bleeps and a generally spasmodic motility of the flux, a concept of “absent harmony” emerges, highlighted by accumulations of middle-to-high range upper partials with roots firmly planted in the top slice of the cranium more than the auricular membranes.
When the “melodies” appear it’s genuine guerilla warfare, with very few snapshots of apparent calmness. The sound is turned into rusted aluminum, the phrases knotted and contorted. But there’s still some breathing to be detected in there, if we forget about the overdriven timbres; echoing flutters and well-distributed stabs are mixed with quasi-unisons and concentrated fortissimo, depicting the modification of the substances almost tangibly. Grumbling and burbling, the filthy lava sprinkles out of Fine’s hands as one imagines him dealing with this unmanageable acoustic matter with a sardonically contemptuous grimace.
The episodic occurrence of hyper-acute pitches pricks our concentration, preparing us to a consecutiveness of blistering fusillades and short-lived stasis. During the latter, a vague communion with the spirit of the mavericks of electronic music is felt in principle. Rare glimpses of “regular” sonorities – the actual electric piano, a vibraphone preset of sorts, a fake string patch or so – seem to address the memory towards something that once existed safely and now is desperate to survive in the chaotic party of perennial alteration.
And yet, by attempting to “study” the inbuilt designs of this awesome topsy-turvydom, you can find the primary sources of an artistic gesture that lives for being necessarily antithetical, never comfortably identifiable or placeable, expressing the inward commotions of a man wise enough to teach how to exploit a cynical unrest as a means to reach self-concordance. The incandescent fragments commingle in a single huge stroke of blinding white light; we do not need to ask questions, having finally learnt the determinative codes of a fundamental cognitive process that eliminates any residue of unproductive cerebration.