Jason Kahn / Jon Mueller – PHASE

Flingco Sound System

By subjecting audiences to the inhalation of desensitizing fumes derived from the quintessence of drumming, Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller have amassed a number of stunning releases over the years, many of them worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of Static Music with a Brain (theirs – ours is usually pretty much anesthetized by the results). Though my promo copy is virtually note-free (no instruments declared), one supposes that percussion, analogue synthesis and shortwave radio constitute the main sources of Phase. Following a three-minute preliminary section, the VU meters flash to red right away as we’re thrown into a hellish intersection of hissing substrata, indistinct tones and indispensable pulse, halfway between industrial din and enigmatic infinity. Sympathetic vibration of the skull is instantaneous. The quavering mass is expertly manoeuvred to reach a nirvana reeking of burnt metal, a painfully invigorating ascension to lysergic bleakness accompanied by the auditory nightmares typical of huge accumulations of entrancing frequencies: I imagine masses of squealing mice amidst hydraulic abortions, and snippets of Luciano Berio’s Coro garbled by a persistent army of horrendous dunderheads screaming against beauty with contorted faces. The music’s wicked imperiousness becomes its most significant attribute: once used to it, we pray for endlessness. When it’s over, it’s time to regroup, but the echoes of another extraordinary adventure in the realm of motionless possession linger on.

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