Sonic Reducer: Merchants Of Labor And The Shock And Roll Ep

August March
3 min read
Merchants of Labor
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Here are two volumes of noise—ambient, re-created, supposed, inflected, et cetera—that aim to create a minimalist narrative through the passage of time and with the constraints of the perceived world around us forming discrete boundaries. Upon first listen, the work seems to be concerned with space, its limits, its reflection in other materials—so that volume really becomes an illusion. There are buildings in this sonic vision, but they are cruel edifices that block the passage of light and sound. Helicopters hover and bags of ice break open in the desert heat. The crackle of dust from the end of record, transposed here and there through the recording—maybe signifying individual experience, even the unreliable narrator in all their glitchy glory—presents itself repeatedly, but is sometimes submerged in the sounds that come from outside its rattling ken. Certainly this is difficult listen. TAHNZZ’s work is demanding, discursive and disturbing. And your interpretation—given the state of post-structuralism that generally exists in the discourse community associated with art music—is just as good as mine. That said, listening to these two records is a delicate, absorbing and ultimately affirmative experience. The first track, “Bracero Border Odyssey” recreates a place that is all at once fascinating and foreboding, much like the world it refers to obliquely and with dreamlike precision.

pOly-gOne The Shock and Roll EP (Self-released)

The Shock and Roll EP
Listen, it’s hip-hop, it’s electronica and slinky like dubstep but tight like trap and then it gets all glitchy and comes apart in a million pieces before reassembling itself in novel sonic ways. No, bruh, I am not talkng about the latest single by Vince Staples, the long-lost tapes from Hot Sauce Committee Part One or the bass and drum tracks from Snakefinger’s Chewing Hides the Sound. I am talking about the new release by an obviously joyful psychonaut. The first track, “Gnarlfle,” is so gone, it will break your stereo headphones into two concrete versions of reality, one with a syncopated beat. It only gets greener on track two, “Little Green Men.” Of course you will want to dance to this, what else is there after they come? That bass line burns! As for the rest of this collection of five trick tunes, I’ll let you fly solo from here, it’s that good. I’m going to let you in on a secret right now, though. It’s perfectly fine to wake and bake as the sun touches the New Mexico sky while jamming out to this mileage enhancer. The playing is fab, keyboards right there in the zone where life meets nimble fingertips. There’s even a crash course on experimentalism thrown in as track 3—just to keep that neocortex working, yo. The last two tracks are my favorites, almost complex enough to warn of an impending seizure before the ultimate tropical reverie, “Who is Rubber Ducky” and “Balloon Weather,” which may be the last songs you hear on Earth, but that’s just fine.
The Shock and Roll EP

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