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Record Review


After touring together throughout 2001-2002, electrocoustic composers Keith Fullerton Whitman (aka Hrvatski) and Greg Davis seemed locked in a laptop-to-bottom friendly rivalry. Separately, the tourmates make sounds as wiry as their complementary beards. As a team, the hirsute duo's laptops unleashed their best chin-stroking improvisation. Whitman and Davis birthed the sounds of kitchen appliances possessed by rutting poltergeists, isolating and decimating sounds like cooks froth and jous. Yearlong captures their most symbiotic mode, collecting 13 servings of the New England duo's sound puree.

Yearlong is sound clips from the hip, and the results vary from metallic coupling to the resonant, resolute pluck of acoustic strings flicking flecks of shimmying mica. Sounds are resplendent as a slo-mo weaving of melody modules, like observing a nanobot swarm knit a Technicolor test pattern or hearing the low voltage wind chimes of a mechanical ant farm. There's also more abrasive regurgitated source material from what could be imagined as an alien locust invasion or a jaunty street parade.

Fullerton's upcoming solo effort, Multiples, is a collection of concentric sonic ripples whose drones and throbs, sustained notes and melodic interjections suggest revolution without evolution. It's a fascinating study in stasis. The underlying thread of both releases is a murky ensemble of tone poems, whether the sounds seem heaven sent or merely the buzz of a malfunctioning microwave.

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