Sometimes, one's expectations are confounded. Given the participants and their histories, the knowledgeable listener could easily be excused for anticipating something on the order of an all-out noise-fest, albeit perhaps a beautifully constructed one. But while this finely titled album generates ample energy to get matters levitating, it also reins in any potential excesses and concentrates that power with precision, resulting in a mighty fine, bristling flow that infuses the room with an intense glow rather than obliterating it.
It begins with several disparate elements that threaten chaos — soft explosions here, high whines there, some dull taps. It all soon coalesces into an almost stable hum, though it's quivering and percolating beneath the surface and, very slowly, gathers momentum. Things crest some 20 minutes in though not in some orgasmic eruption as is too often the case, but in a nice swell, flexing muscles but not overdoing it. Much of the beauty here is found thereafter. Instead of the post-ejaculation letdown, the let's-clean-up-and-go-home attitude frequently encountered on the rock-based end of the noise scene, the trio lingers, exploring what remains after the energy is disgorged, discovering all manner of fascinating jewels.
Somehow, this is all the more impressive in that it's a live performance (from Brooklyn's Issue Project Room) with an audience to take into consideration with regard to sustentation of interest. They fashion a refreshingly bleak soundscape without much in the way of reassuring tonality, a rough terrain without easy handholds and they remain there for the duration of the performance, insisting on the equivalence of interest, even beauty. An impressive work and one that should be heard both by the more machismo ends of the noise scene (to see other possibilities) and the improv crowd, to show that there's sometimes more to noise than adolescent cacophony.
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