Stunning and legendary material from veteran art-experimentalist Duncan. Some of this stuff is so dark and spooky and inexplicably visceral that it’s hard to listen to it without taking a break.
These are the infamous John See Soundtracks, along with other performance pieces dating as far back as 1984. There is an excellent full-color booklet with it, explaining the works and their performance. Whats the most striking at first listen? That would be Duncan utlizing pronographic moans and heavy-breathing within ambient soundscapes.
This is certainly sexy in a mysterious way, but then these sounds just become haunting, like voices of the dead, bodiless moans absently pretending satisfaction. Then they end up somewhere near the mechanical, not even human at all. Extended pieces take the sounds of sex further, with one using a very strange, almost beastial male-noise, effected and distorted and repeated until it becomes something else.
As when you repeat a word over and over, it loses it’s meaning. And all this is under thin sheets of tense ambient drones, so it really digs its way into you. But there are pieces that have no identification with the sexual as well… and these become the unbelievably heavy, powerful ascendencies of sound, increasing and building into frightening, violent walls.
This is truly breakthrough material, up there with legendary albums such as Permafrost, I.O.S.’s Historical or Randy Grief’s Alice In Wonderland, purely for it’s absolute power and ability to create that tectonic movement within the listeners psyche. Do not miss this one.
Vince Harrigan, Manifold Records