BILL THOMPSON – Black Earth Tongue

The Tapeworm

Well-regarded Bill Thompson is back with a cassette containing emanations from a 2016 partnership with contemporary dance collective In The Making. As opposed to what we’ve been accustomed to in the subsequent years, we cannot enjoy the protraction of a lone track or two, but seven episodes of duration ranging from four to eighteen minutes. The instrumentation also differs: the Moog guitar, whose magnetic ringing has distinguished the most recent outings, is missing. Instead, keeping true to his nickname, Prof_lofi expertly maneuvers found sounds, table top electronics, field recordings and laptop. The outcome, in terms of impact on a prepared audience, is at any rate outstanding.

Thompson is a keen surveyor of psychoacoustic physiology. He’s gifted with adaptive capabilities, with particular emphasis on what his compositional strategies hadn’t foreseen. This is unambiguously mirrored in the stream of resonant contingencies defining the music. The reviewer was not there during the joint performances, and is therefore unaware of the reciprocal support between visual perspective and enthralling frequencies. Nonetheless, the blend of harmonically ambiguous tactility and subtly healing pulsation surfacing since the very outset is sufficient. The percentage of distortion and interference is, in some junctures, slightly superior to the average of Thompson’s late productions. However, that harshness fits admirably in droning currents of remarkable efficacy. The best exemplification of this diversity is perhaps “Angle Wings”, yet highlighting a single part within such a coherent wholeness is a veritable stretch.

What’s preponderantly felt inside – as always, we should add – is a pervasive throbbing closely related to Thompson’s adroitness in monitoring impulse-induced enhancement. It is here that those who talk the talk and those who walk the walk are being separated. After many hours spent in infusion with the material, we’re inexorably reminded of the essentials. One breathes more efficiently; the connection of the self with the vibrational momentum is intensified. As the spirit hangs the “do not disturb” sign on the door knob, we stress the value of someone who, without much fanfare, acts for the proper exchange of air in the innermost rooms of human microcosms willing to accept and apprehend. This is accomplished by means of sonorities that may drive the devotees of abstruse insubstantiality to the nuthouse, in turn proving that the community of legitimate consciousness is shrinking. Thankfully.

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