Boomkat Product Review:
Crafty techno experiments hugey recommended to fans of N.M.O., Don’t DJ/Diskant, Beatrice Dillon - this is the best release on NNA Tapes in a while...
“Brand new work from Northampton, Massachusetts percussionist and electronic producer Jake Meginsky. Known best for his solo work both under his own name as well as the Vapor Gourds moniker, Meginsky has also been highly active in collaborative groups such as Slaughterhouse Percussion with John Truscinski, and F/I/P with guitarist Bill Nace. After last year’s brilliant “Vandals” LP on Open Mouth and Vapor Gourds’ “Incision Objects” LP on Fogged, Meginsky starts 2016 off fresh with “Seven Psychotropic Sinewave Palindromes” for NNA.
Bringing new ideas to the realm of electronic minimalism, Meginsky strips down the sound world of this composition to four basic elements – sine waves, square waves, white noise, and an 808 kick drum. While these four sounds may be commonplace in the world of electronic music, the results here are anything but. There is enough diversity in the application of these rudiments that the listener quickly forgets about their inherent limitations, and opens up to a new cohesive listening experience. Using an advanced ear for psychoacoustic phenomenon and microtonal textures, Meginsky goes far beyond merely layering these four sound elements, but instead is able to assign them unique relationships to one another through careful composition, creating a refreshing new style that sits somewhere between musique concrete, techno, noise, footwork, IDM, and contemporary electronic music.
As an experienced percussionist, Meginsky takes highly advanced concepts of rhythm and tempo and applies them to these digital sound sources. The influence of percussion is further evident through the emphasis on sonic physicality through extreme dynamics, and Meginsky shows a firm understanding of the effect that sound can have on the human body. Powerful bass, hissing high end white noise, and rhythmic mid range textures interact with one another to produce constant movement and a driving directional flow, not to mention palpable physical sensations in the ears and brain. Unlike acoustic percussion, however, the tone and mood of the piece feels alien and inhuman, and any traces of the warmth of humanity are forgone to give way to electronic purity. “Seven Psychotropic Sinewave Palindromes” is proof that an artist restricting themselves to a limited palette can lead to highly creative, original, and unexpected results.”