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CD Feature/ Thick Wisps: "s/t"

img  Tobias

Many people assume there is nothing easier to comprehend than a noise-album. Where sound takes over from melody and harmonies, the argument goes, the reaction should be immediate and without external filters – you either like it or you don't. And yet, „Thick Wisps“, while clearly associated with the noise-cosmos, openly defies and contradicts this line of reasoning.

Of course, the aforementioned premise often seems stem from the belief that „noise“ and „industrial“are mutually interchangeable terms. As this album once again proves, this is a fatal fallacy. While the two musicians behind the project obviously enjoy twiddling their knobs and controllers to the point of earbleed and are, one may at least suppose, resistent to a great deal of racket, their music is neither directly nor ideologically influenced by a past in the barren outskirts of coalmines, exploitative factories or relentless assembly lines. „Thick Wisps“ is not a political album, nor is it a work penetrated by the often formulaic slogans of defetism and revolution used and abused by some of their colleagues. Instead, it is a statement of complete openness and a veritable effort of leaving typical genre-associations behind.

Giancarlo Bracchi, for one, still uses „conventional“ instruments such as the guitar, but he looks at them with different eyes, just like he considers the human voice a further tool for sound generation, rather than a cheap emotional element. Juan Matos Capote, meanwhile, is more of a split personality. The sustained chords and plinkety piano notes of his 5$ baby-keyboard are obvious „musical“ references, while the rest of his gear is clearly that of a new generation, characterised by effect pedals, stomp boxes and mixing boards. There is a playful mood running through their interaction, just like Capote's hero, circuit bending-maestro Reed Ghazala never considered chance an enemy but an ally.

A naive drone opens the ninetineen minute „Organ Accumulator“, one of two grand-scale meditations framing the album's body of mostly concise tracks and leads into a game of associations, of bouncing thoughts hence and forth and of allowing the music to evolve almost in dreamtime. Rhythm can be the trigger, but so, too, can be a two-tone bass motive or a group of reoccuring sounds. While the methods are recognisable and anything but „new“ in a classical sense, the thick and intense halucinogenic lava stream flowing forth from the bipolar encounter is strangely unclassifiable. Especially the epic coda „Deluvio“ holds an uneasy equilibrium between terrifying ambiances and utterly zen-like calmness.

On a first listen, I enjoyed myself without further consequences, but on a second one I was intrigued. With each listen, „Thick Wisps“ opens up new perspectives, new angles of incidence and alternative interpretations. It's still not Nietzsche or Schopenhauer, but easy to understand it ain't exactly either. No mean achievement for a noise-album.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Juan Matos Capote
Homepage: Giancarlo Bracchi

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