Sunday, 14 March 2010

Bloggs - 'Music for Multiples' (Fresnl)

Somewhere in the murky depths of early 00s West Coast experimentalism, this kickass Bloggs CD got lost in the shuffle. Google barely returns anything about it, but then again, the guy had the misfortunate to be named Bloggs just before a similar word hit our wavelengths. But let's talk about his wavelength - it's a studious one, clearly driven by sound constructions without much faffin' about. The liner notes list the equipment used on each of these ten tracks, partially reminding me of Aube (in the way Bloggs builds sounds from non-traditional sound-making items, like plastic wrap, PVC pipe, or an aluminum pot lid) and partially like a prog record that studiously lists all the gear. I'm pretty sure this is one of the guys from rhBand, another totally awesome bunch of modern minimalists that you never hear anything about anymore. The horizontal construction of the pieces is similar to rhBand's ur-drone, but the more eclectic nature of the source material makes this kinda, well, fun. Another reviewer compared 'Steppe (Process)' to Phil Niblock and I think that's an apt comparison; being built around wind instruments, there's a great deal of extended breaths to create a piece that feels far more epic than it's 8'41" running time would suggest. 'Obscured by Circles' is a pulsing bit of harmonium drone that accompanies 'Steppe' and the 'Untitled Piece for Bowls' as the three long minimal efforts which, if turned up loud enough, can completely bury you. The shorter pieces are built around more unusual sounds - some tape pieces, some 'real' instruments, and some noisy bits which still feel focused and calm. I think Music for Multiples actually strikes a fantastic, if not perfect balance between transparent sound experimentalism and artful, powerful construction. I don't think Bloggs ever made another album (and this one is hella-obscure - I grabbed it out of a mega-discount bin at some shitty mall record store that I was killing time in, I think paying 20 US cents for it) which is a shame, because this is the type of record that (if it had come maybe 10-20 years earlier) would be spoken about in hushed, reverent tones now instead of being mostly forgotten.

3 comments:

  1. hey man. thanks. seriously the coolest review i ever got. thinking about naming the next album "unfair slabs of thick obscurity" - if i ever make another. got some rhBand stuff and a bloggs 7" single if you'd like copies.

    best, bloggs

    ReplyDelete
  2. ah cool... you're moderating. so, there's no need to publish my last comment (or this one please!) - was just trying to reach out to you, but i didn't want to put my email address in there. if you'd like copies of stuff, send me your mailing address to my email account: double5dime@gmail.com

    very happy to set you up with cds and vinyl gathering dust. :)

    best, bloggs

    ReplyDelete
  3. ha. fuh. i guess blogger was just delayed in publishing. sigh. oh well.

    ReplyDelete