Boomkat Product Review:
Whoa, even by EVOL’s usual standards this is a weird and wired experiment in sonic slime-slinging, mastered by Russell Haswell and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M.
For the best part of three years Stephen Sharp and Roc Jiménez de Cisneros have been desconstructing rave music in novel and unorthodox ways, homing in on bizarre tropes in the music that we’ve glibly come to accept as generic, disrupting its regular patterns, drawing attention to its kinks and fissures, and generally f**king with our heads: a process they formally describe as Rave Synthesis.
The music of Proper Headshrinker was originally presented as part of an exhibition, ‘Recurrence, repetition, hypnosis and ritual’ curated by Emptyset’s Paul Purgas in Stockholm. The wall next to the speakers bore the legend "Like a balloon producing balloons, producing balloons" in Pantone 805 fluorescent red, the same colour used on the LP cover. But what’s under that lurid hood? Well, ten tracks of identical length: “stripped-down hoovers and deformed supersaws driven by extremely simple cyclic patterns.”
Sharp and de Cisneros use the concept of ‘homeomorphism’ (a term borrowed from topology) to describe structure and the way that tone bends in their Rave Synthesis tracks, but apparently that process of “continuous deformation” is more oblique here, as the only variation comes from subtle phase modulations. Suffice to say, if you’re into the Haswell, Hecker and the rest of the computer hardcore, or if you’ve been following more accessible dance music dismantlings by Mark Fell, Lee Gamble, Pete Swanson, etc, then you should pay attention to this record. Just remember: your cruddy laptop speakers won’t do it ustice; if you want Proper Headshrinker to live up to it’s name then it needs to be deployed at the proper volume.