Boomkat Product Review:
Pete Swanson & Jed Bindeman’s Freedom To Spend label unveil more Robert Cox from the archive, this time a session of knotted guitar, unraveled electronix and loping tape circuits that sounds something like British folk music filtered thru a space-disturbing fog of psilocybin-infused laughing gas. Brilliant, highly original gear.
On 'Sync or Swim', DIY don Cox brought in a few able bodies to help him realize his sonic vision: guitarist Andy Thomas, and keyboard players Florence Atkinson and Paul Ridout. His sister Rebecca even helped out, providing vocals where necessary. The album was put together a few years before Cox would begin his work with Rimarimba, but possesses a similar drive to electrify the bones of British folk music, veering into a path far to the left of most progressive rock of the era.
Here, levitational riffs loop wildly over ping-pong electronic rhythms and speedy xylophones that could almost be seen as a sort of proto-Carl Stone. Sounds are dubbed to tape and dragged thru the sort of sonic processes you'd expect to hear from GRM or The Radiophonic Workshop, while uneven loops provide a variant of Reichian phasing, and discernible folk elements skew towards approachable abstraction.
Just flip to the delayed angelic devotional sounds of 'Samples & Held' that dissolves guitar licks into angelic proto Grouper wails, or the chopped 'n pasted church x cityscape British kitsch of 'My First Ride in a Metro'. Everything builds up to the album's dramatic 20-minute closer 'E Scapes', that mirrors the cosmic intensity of Florian Fricke's post-electronic recordings, or Manuel Göttsching at his most elegiac - all delayed guitar looped and layered into meditative bliss.