COLIN ANDREW SHEFFIELD & JAMES ECK RIPPIE – Exploded View

Elevator Bath

In an electroacoustic construction for processed samples and turntables, a few sketches can turn into a small eternity if the manipulator(s) of the raw substance lack the semi-rational frame of mind required to extract restorative juices from a random amassment of materials. Colin Andrew Sheffield and James Eck Rippie furnish us with the opposite problem, as the 19 minutes of Exploded View – a perfect integration of surreal, concrete and otherworldly harmonious – fly away rather quickly, the brain still thirsty for more psyche-altering beverages at the end.

The piece’s very dynamic arc suggests a short story, not deprived of absurdist nuances, from some invisible microcosm. At the outset, only a series of echoing crude noises stripped of any genuinely “harmonic” content. As the pair starts to seriously rummage through the pockets of a warped creativity, the picture is that of explorers attempting to unearth a hidden nest of dangerous bionic insects, well aware of the risk they’re taking. When they finally succeed – and, one supposes, get stung – a lucid feverishness permeates their whole entity. Strange fantasies start appearing; misshapen for sure, but also realistic enough to be precisely contoured by the residual cerebral activity.

As the textural entanglement takes command in a vortex of revitalizing frequencies, all that remains is enjoying the supernatural attributes of Sheffield and Rippie’s spontaneous apparitions. The seeds of unpredictability give life to a little forest of often splendid counter-logicalness, different species of sonic discharge flawlessly fused in such an awkward scheme of things. Reflecting about existential issues is not an option while immersed in this music. After it’s over, however, the first noticeable dissimilarity is a bizarre restyling of our train of thought, now running along pretty unusual routes. Nothing remotely resembling a human presence has been left aboard.

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