Alibi V.29 No.4 • Jan 23-29, 2020 

Sonic Reducer

WURM GreenKaos (Self-released)

As Wurm, local electronic experimentalist Art Black continues to release darkly compelling soundscapes and conjure auditory environments that are at once disturbing for their noisy pronouncements as they are enlightening for their complex sonic sojourns. To listen to Black’s work is to become immersed in other worlds, primeval digital landscapes that suggest a plane of transcendental numbers where non-Euclidean geometries define experiences and glitches signal communion with the dream world. Opener “IC Waste” could be a Krell composition recorded by the same giants who battled monsters from the Id. “Petro-Diety” fairly roars and screams in profoundly dangerous replication of the high technology and industrial processes it starkly warns against. Even the Casiotone-influenced “Plastic Planet” seems to speak from the remains of civilization, keyboards tumbling into infinity while laser blasts consume and vibrate and chirp, just slightly out of tune. Get this record, dig?

Here, Now Primo (Self-released)

Noisy and apocalyptic but made to invoke dancing slowly at dawn or driving toward the horizon while everything else around one burns and burns, this EP features Elijah Quintana on guitar and Ever Verduzco as keyboardist. The results of this project are sometimes predictable but are handled in an earnestly revelatory fashion, making for an engaging listen even if the world isn’t ending, even if one’s favorite tube of Vicks VapoRub is all fumes and no sauce. The compositions are cinematic, but begin to deviate from standard narrative conventions—mostly created by film composer Erich Korngold 100 years ago when film was still a new thing—as each track progresses. “Contact” distills serious drama, even tragedy into a series of crescendoing themes. Closing track “Diateleo” demonstrates a determination to make progress, even when major-key resolutions are merely suggestions for both player and listener. I want to see this film.

Abstract Lion Digital Renaissance (Self-released)

It must be glitch week here at Alibi HQ. Either that or Thom Yorke is using his psychic abilities to influence a handful of recent local releases. Could be the dude from Aphex Twin, too. Or maybe it’s the ghost of MCA. Whoever is responsible for this lurch toward sizzling electronic signals that direct the human form and mind to postmodern ecstasy has my approval. This iteration of sparkly anti-funk has a maximalist edge to it that those who want to make pop music should take note of. To wit: You can get down to this album with righteous, almost religious fervor or let it fry your insides as you squirm around your living room floor trying to figure out why tuneage like “Gas Junkie” is so dang funky. Also “Lion Sex Wizard” and the too-twee “Continental.” Ouch, this one burns.