Boomkat Product Review:
Austria's Franz Pomassl is one of the unsung heroes of sonic deconstruction. While 'Spare Parts' is the artist's debut full-length release for Raster Noton, Pomassl has been working at the extremes of electronic sound since 1996. His album 'Trail Error' has come to be regarded as a pioneering statement exploring the creative possibilities of errors in digital music. Well over a decade on from the glitch revolution, Pomassl's music has developed into something far more sophisticated, if no less challenging. On 'Spare Parts' you'll hear both digital sound and obscure analogue electronics under the microscope, with Soviet-built signal generators and customised synthesizers thrown in amongst contemporary, cutting edge processing techniques. After the test tone opener 'Nitro', Pomassl settles into the fractured beat forms of 'Tandem Distiller', clanking into life with a post-industrial language of echoing debris and radioactive airflow. These unique, inhospitable soundscapes carry a kind of ominous, dystopian gloom with them, spewing forth utterly abstract jolts of noise, conjuring menace through their sheer ambiguity - these aren't the kind of dramatised sonic textures you'd hear from a doom or death ambient-type release, instead there's a sense of mystery, coldness and detachment to these compositions lending them an enormous gravitas. Take for example 'Murena': the locomotive clacking at its heart gets hurtled around the stereo field with an awkward, wooden chug, cradled by buzzing interference - there's almost a rhythmic order to it, but not quite. Of course, this would hardly be a Raster Noton release without the odd foray into pinhole microsonics and high frequency sine wave timbres, but there's far more to this record. Pomassl brings a freshness to what's potentially a very stagnant musical idiom, making him an invaluable addition to the label's family. Highly Recommended.