Boomkat Product Review:
Some of you may be familiar with Joe Grimm's work as The Wind-Up Bird, although he's also been part of some impressive collaborations, rubbing artistic shoulders with the likes of Alvin Lucier, Glenn Branca and Dirty Projectors among others. This new album for Spekk finds Grimm drawing influence from the aforementioned Branca, while also drawing from the overtone-based experimentations of Charlemagne Palestine and Ligeti's principles of micropolyphony. By using masses of acoustic sound, Grimm found he was able to conjure a desired pitch from the overtones created by two or more other pitches. Despite the ethereal, esoteric qualities of this music, apparently no special effects or electronic processing was involved. Instead, Brain Cloud relies exclusively on the natural timbres of violins, horns, piano and the human voice in the pursuit of eliciting ghost tones, which make themselves apparent from the nebulous sustain accompanying the more familiar harmonics of the instruments in use at a particular time. The three main Brain Cloud pieces are broken up by two harpsichord-based solo improvisations. Here an equalizer and a short delay help to break the instrument out of the timbral conventions we might associate with it, but these should be considered interludes between the more substantial compositions elsewhere. This album might not sound like a whole lot of fun, and certainly Brain Cloud is characterised by an austere experimentalism, but the results of this methodical, disciplined approach are eerily beautiful in their own bizarre way, and followers of the less traditional schools of 20th century modern composition will find much to absorb in Grimm's work. Highly Recommended.