Tuesday 28 April 2009

EVOLutional Stillness?

Computer-based infernos where the rate of event recurrence exceeds the ability of our brain to follow their succession after a tentative – and useless – struggle are unquestionably fascinating. There is another side of the coin, though: a measure of change – or relief, if you prefer - should ideally be applied, otherwise what comes out as unpredictable at first tends to flirt with standardization at the end.

This is exactly what happened to yours truly with EVOL’s Punani Rubberist, a record that was obviously assembled with the highest degree of creative meticulousness. The title track, which opens the program, promises (and mostly delivers) great things, its fiendish concoction of clarinet-derived finesse and perpetual intermingling of disparate kinds of sonic constituents rivaling certain overhyped acousmatic productions whose budget is largely superior to this.

Impertinent humiliations of whatever sense of continuity one might wish constitute the tourist’s menu throughout the set. Zapping cataclysms, utter drubbings of potential anticipation and opulent deployment of electroacoustic paraphernalia seem to divide the listening room into small cubicles, each episode a frantically lyophilized commentary on human inadequateness when rational aptitude is called out to respond to unusual sounds.

Yet, once the halfway point has passed and no sign of meaningful divergence from the general canon is noticed in the formation of the tracks – call it sameness in variation – we somehow start to smell a slightly musty aroma, as if the explosive energy and vitality of the music had suddenly turned into a battery of wet-powdered guns.

In conclusion, following the initial shock the work proceeds rather inconsequentially, deprived as it is of a veritably unique trait. Quite preposterous, given the zillions of clashing facets that it presents. The ultimate verdict is: very well constructed, but somehow uninvolving.