Friday, 11 January 2013

Disco Operating System - 'Ultrasonic Bath' (Lotta Continua)

Among the dustbins of culture are so many self-released CDs, jewelcases stacking up to Saturn, and here's one more that probably no one has thought about in years, including its creator. Disco Operating System is Gareth Bibby of Manchester, UK, and the reason I own this is because he handed it to me at some point in the past decade. I've forgotten now exactly when and why and I assume I saw him perform this mishmash of electronica - too abstract to fall into the IDM category, but too, I dunno, 'straight' to get lumped in with irr.apt.(ext) and that sort of thing. There are tracks such as 'Boom-bip every trip' which reveal Bibby's background, surely as a dance/club kid (or maybe that's my stereotype of British people) - but then the very next song, 'Goblins be Thine', could be a Nurse With Wound outtake from circa the A Sucked Orange period. Bibby is clearly adept at using a computer - this is an excellent, if nondescript work of assemblage - and it relies on loops/repetition a bit too much, throwing up some easy surrealism and moving on. But this is a type of music to find almost no audience. It's not fun enough for a mass audience, but it's thoughtful/brainy approach tends too much towards easy rhythms and thus would alienate fans of pure electronic abstraction. There aren't many organic sounds here, but a warm feeling like those great Boards of Canada records, so it's not totally cold. But ultimately I stop paying attention and I wonder if I will listen to it ever again (as I probably only did once in the past decade).

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