Boomkat Product Review:
Kevin Drumm's latest cryptic offering is the long-awaited vinyl version of 'OG23', two long, lonely and reflective outer space/underwater electro-acoustic zoners that sound as if he's operating in complete isolation. RIYL Éliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Roland Kayn.
There's not much info on this one, but after hundreds of releases, we suppose Drumm doesn't really need to contextualise his output. The Chicago-based noisemaker has proven himself capable of working within seemingly any dynamic framework, whether it's extreme noise (like the legendary 'Sheer Hellish Miasma') or the tranquil opposite ('Imperial Distortion'), and 'OG23' catches him in a distinctly meditative zone. Made up of two discreet mixes of the same piece (the flipside is subtitled "slight difference") it's a glacial, cosmic jammer that feels as if it's fallen out of time. There's no discernible rhythm, pace or narrative, just pure sound - the kind of sound you'd expect to hear if you were snared in a wormhole, or caged beneath the ocean.
Drumm works with the kind of strained, lengthened electro-acoustic sonics that make it hard to decipher whether you're listening to a processed instrument or an electronic generator. Tones shift and dribble like fluid, everything moving through echoing reverb like gas in an immense, underground cave. Whistling resonant sounds get caught in Drumm's sonic netting and appear to freeze for a moment, undulating as they wrench themselves free, and occasionally the drones nudge into deeper, bassier spaces. The first side is drowned and sonorous, while the second is cloudy and metallic - both takes harmonize well with Thomas Köner's gong-based ambient experiments, but Drumm's vision is more tonally unbalanced, and noticeably more psychedelic. At its best, it sounds like the peak of a noetic journey, as revelations flood through the pineal and light begins to take on completely new life.