SAM GENOVESE – This Thing That Thought It Was Becoming

Self Release


A respectable roster of notable teachers can mean everything or nothing at all, especially in a problematic acoustic playground such as “chamber noise”. This is in fact how San Francisco’s Sam Genovese – a Mills College student under the likes of Pauline Oliveros, Chris Brown and Maggi Payne among others – calls the substance comprised by this album, which he proposes to savor loud. Although structure appears to be a requisite throughout the program, most of what was detected here might be filed as “incursion” rather than “composition”. Which, in this particular instance, must be taken as a compliment (and, just in case, the whole was definitely composed).

One thing valued since the outset: Genovese belongs to the category of experimenters who prefer eviscerating to death single characteristics of their sonic objects, as opposed to touching on many issues in absence of a genuine evolution. Also, he dynamically enhances the listener’s sensing of space. In the long and deeply buzzing title track, this choice furnishes a minimal motility with pulsating vividness, thus achieving an optimal balance between involuntary cerebral stimulation and sensory desertion. The “closer-to-lowercase” beginning of “Soft Like Tearing” recalls a supercharged version of Bernhard Günter’s early looks towards digital nihility; subsequently, the appearance of strange pseudo-orchestral flashes awakens us from the hypnosis. A “cosmically explosive” finale (of sorts) subverts any expectation gathered until that moment.

These were two examples from a series of soundscapes emphasizing Genovese’s main purpose: reaching points of significance without recurring to sophistication. On the contrary, a kind of brutal truthfulness is detectable in each piece, a high intensity/lucidity ratio contributing to the overall attractiveness. In a nutshell, competence and modesty will always go farther than studio-generated gaudery. Please lend your ears to this man’s music, and welcome interesting vibrations within the nerve tissue.

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