Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mold Omen - Blacktop (Cae-sur-a, 2011)

Mold Omen – Blacktop
Cae-sur-a 2011

Mold Omen is a Baltimore based duo comprising of Mike Pursley and Andy Livingston. "The Driver/The Mechanic" begins with some electronic synth pulses and minimalist rhythms and a low feedbacking, bass drone with it. The pulses are distorted and become progressively more indecipherable and hard to hear as more lo-fi electronic wash overtakes it. Cae-sur-a aptly describes it as a “battle between a heavy, droning maelstrom of noise and the electro-melodies desperately trying to free themselves.” The foreground/background relationship between the rhythm and the drone is constantly shifting throughout the piece, creating a beautiful kind of sonic tension. As a result, what I think happens is a meshing of the two, producing a dynamic, textural, electronic noisescape. All the sounds are essentially made of distorted wash, yet there are different varieties, different frequencies that enter the mix. Side B begins mildly with a few texturally different, droning noises. The sounds don’t seem particularly electronic, but they sound like they could be coming from a warehouse or a factory. Another words, the source of these sounds is difficult to place, and I say a job well done. One piece on Side B is a bit softer than Side A, with a slow, electronic beat and some high-pitched, whirling synth noise. The aesthetic theme of this whole tape (and especially Side B) makes me feel like I’m listening to some old 20th century musique concrete and that these electronic textures were sampled or are found sound, because they have such an aged quality. Though that’s probably not the case if I were to venture a guess.

Cassette for purchase:

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