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Billy Gomberg: Quiet Barrier

img  Tobias Fischer

At a point when most non-pop (or might that be semi-popular?) electronic musicians are looking back to the pre-digital era for inspiration, Brooklyn-based Billy Gomberg distinguishes himself by tilling earth too old to be new, but certainly not rooted in what’s happening now.

The most obvious precedents for Quiet Barrier are Rafael Toral’s Wave Field and Aeriola Frequency or Oval’s Systemisch, although his means of production are all his own. He doesn’t use guitars or skipping CDs, but a Roland synth, a computer, and maybe a drum machine. What Quiet Barrier has in common with those records is the application of distortion to electronic and electrical emissions in ways that fray tones into something distressed, but quite beautiful. This music is friendly and forgiving of the listener who just wants to bask in the sound, but also welcomes the close listener, the one who will notice in the a-rhythmic beats that pop out hear and there a wormhole that opens up in the Black Ark c. 1977, or that will detect in the slowly extending tendrils that grow out of “Hearts In Red” a link between musical and horticultural roots.

Put another way, this is rich and lovely stuff.

By Bill Meyer

Homepage: Billy Gomberg
Homepage: Rest + Noise Records

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