Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label

Review

Tj Norris

v/a – Fourfold Symmetry

This is the place where collaboration starts. By way of mail exchange (e or snail) these four distinguished electronic creatives have reworked each others sounds for a final recording consisting of 14 tracks. What ensues is a very calculated game of audio roulette. Ukranian label Nexsound features innovative electronics of the sparse, post-digital variety specializing in what can possibly still be termed as microsound. ‘Fourfold Symmetry’ glides passionately through a myriad of filters and glitch. The composers free spirit builds on each others barren structures creating a multidimensional perspective of sound space, there is a mysterious, almost surveillance-like character overall. Crunchy noise tingles in the prismatic allure of ‘Glass Legs’. Like a search for intelligent lifeforms, ‘Misplaced’ tends to crawl and burrow. Its sensors are enacted, its breath stunted and forced. The raw noise-making is a pretext for impulses heard in the remainder of the disc. This is clearly presented in ‘7-5-2′ where the statics contort and the volume is a bit erratic. This sudden shift pokes fun at its own structure, playfully nudging the listener. This atonal creation has a life of its own, seems to grow right before our ears, in a shifting inorganic way. This combination is infused with haunting drone and manipulated digitization via knobs and wires. The textures and full 3-D sound – almost touchable is predominant here. There are a few moments where I imagine cleaning my turntable’s needle, almost as if it were a fetish, most obvious on ‘Rale’. This is electro pyrotechnics, an experiment within an experiment. Caustic as it may be, ‘Zir-ka’ is like a tentative bobbling ride on the surface of a vinyl rock record that has a certain repetitive rhythm and an attract/repulse quality. Sounds get a bit more watery and luminous on ‘QTS’ but only surface in the last 30 seconds of the track. This is a sincere dadaist styled approach at making music that carries the weight of trust in the final mix. ‘Fourfold Symmetry’ has some rough curves and takes chances, though it is not as immediately pleasing to the ear as one of these composers’ individual efforts. The final three tracks are tonally strongest, with ‘Three Figures’ as the best cut, so sit this one out. (TJN)