ERIC LEONARDSON / AL MARGOLIS / DOUG VAN NORT – Vendlam

Attenuation Circuit

Eric Leonardson: springboard, electronics; Al Margolis: synthesizer, violin; Doug Van Nort: GREIS, electronics

Curiously recorded at Poughkeepsie’s My Place Pizza (I’m wondering about the response from the average couple who decided to eat there that night) this set is as beetle-browed as a neighbor collecting rusty metal objects and never, ever uttering the corpse of a “hello” when you meet him, instead grunting all the way into his apartment. That’s exactly the reason of my bullheaded attraction to it, having just ended another listening round. Barely grasping the elemental matter behind these aggregations of fizzling frequencies, coughing pulses, crepitant outgrowths and tortured strings means that the artists have trapped you in the impossibility of a definition. Thus, out of (writer’s) frustration, one tries to use the somewhat inarticulate sound as complement, which works fine enough (birds mesh well with husky whistles and cold-stared acute pitches). The occasional throbbing hum thickens the textural cloth here and there, pushing the sonic organism in the “unclean dronage” area for a few instants (think Haptic and the likes). Elsewhere we felt as inexorably stuck in some kind of urban fringe, hearing nice noises while completely unhopeful in regard to returning home. Chaos finally triumphs, mere minutes before the end.

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