Boomkat Product Review:
**Astonishing new synth heat from Keith Fullerton Whitman and Ben Vida on Amish Records`**. The tidy New York label that brought us Ensemble Economique's 'Standing Still, Facing Forward' presents the third instalment in its brilliantly named Required Wreckers Series, a split LP from two of the US underground's most intrepid explorers of electronic sound. Ben Vida's side sees him using both analogue and digital control sources, and creating a complex web of patches that results in a really angsty, wheedling sound. Vida was looking to create something which "refuses to slip into contemplative or mystical arenas that so many in today's electronic music reference" and boy, he's succeeded. While 'Aggregatepulseripper (Damaged III)' is heavy-going, it’s completely engaging, at times dropping – momentarily at least - into a kind of lurching, erratic funk. On the flip Keith Fullerton Whitman rolls out the kind of uncompromising but characterful hardware shred-fest that has seen him earn the praise of everyone from the power electronics community to advanced techno noggins like T++. Recorded in January 2008 in Somerville, MA, it documents one of his solo synthesizer sets based on a theme, and a circuitry, of economy. Using audience noise, ambient room-tone and the output from different-sized speakers as sound sources, he feeds the signal into different patches, and lets rip. It's another thrilling example of what wonders can be achieved at the interface between analogue and digital, and apart from a single 4096 bd delay, the recording has not been subjected to any kind of treatment, overdub or sequencing. As ever with Whitman, there's a curious rhythmic flex to even his most out-there experiments – as the globs of electronic sound on ‘080114’ cluster and coagulate they from brittle, near-'ardkore beat patterns in Ae/AFX style, before dissolving into a harsh, wailing climax that comes over like a disaffected teenage robot taking his anger out on Guitar Hero, if Guitar Hero was programmed by Mark Fell and Florian Hecker. Vanguard synth/noise experimentation honestly doesn't get much better than this. Highly recommended.