Boomkat Product Review:
Lorenzo Senni’s Presto!? hail an overlooked masterwork of modern computer music with ’Point Line Cloud’ by Curtis Roads - the former editor of the influential Computer Music Journal.
Originally issued on an enhanced CD/DVD by Asphodel in 2005, ‘Point Line Cloud’ is one of less than a handful of releases by Curtis Roads, whose main activity over the past 30 years has mostly remained behind the scenes or in the margins, often cropping up as author of liner notes for fearsome releases including Hecker & Haswell’s ‘Blackest Ever Black (Electroacoustic UPIC Recordings)’ (2007), as well as the books ‘Computer Music Tutorial’ (1996) and ‘Microsound’ (2004).
Being a proper nerd, Lorenzo Senni is all too aware of Roads’ work and is the ideal candidate to bring it to new ears in 2019. Sitting neatly among Presto!?’s roster of savant nutters including Theo Burt, Florian Hecker and Marcus Schmickler, the uncompromising experiments of ‘Point Line Cloud’ are evidently in good company, ‘fessing up the equivalent of a CPU’s inner voice or subvocalisations in 13 parts that sum up his practice between 1999-2003.
As scarily inventive as, say, Hecker’s ’Sun Pandämonium’, which was coincidentally issued in the same year, Roads’ album deeply trips us out with its nanoscopic, atomic-level rhythms and mercurial nature. But where Hecker’s work could be considered aggressive and maybe even masculine, Roads’ music is less easy to classify, maybe best compared with a cybernetic emulation of the primitive/complex “blob” slime mold organism that has 720 sexes and no mouth. Basically a very freaky mutha that makes us feel weird even thinking about it.