Boomkat Product Review:
Chicago lynchpin Brian Case (90 Day Men, Acteurs, Disappears) demonstrates a revered studio-as-instrument prowess under his own name for the first time, and with immersive results, in Tense Nature for Hands In The Dark.
The album’s 12 tracks are effectively self-contained ambient environments created using genes, or samples, haphazardly hacked from improvised jams. Limiting himself to only fragmented phrases and gestures, Case consequently gestated and rent those snippets as unique prisms or spaces unto themselves, picking out their acoustic infidelities and timbral quirks as vital, visceral elements of their composition, and looping them up until they took root with a new, repetitive momentum.
Tense Nature’s overall feeling is one of hypnotic uncanniness, almost as if he’s isolated some of music’s strange glances and made them stare in the mirror for too long, sustaining those frozen integers for just long enough until they reveal some underlying truth or fleeting aspects.
Effectively, it’s both concrete dub and electro-acoustic in process, working in a long tradition of experimental artists extrapolating unheimlich geists from tape recordings that stretches from Lee Perry thru Dome and This Heat to Basic Channel and Deathprod.