Bramble - Cycle Stasis [Bottle Imp Productions - 2012]Scott Wehman turns in a fairly lightweight bit of drone for his fourth release, “Cycle Stasis,” where his evocative titles—“Suprastilled,” “Barren Landform,” etc.,-- do most of the heavy lifting alongside somewhat ho-hum stretches of meandering low tones, the occasional far-off whistle, and what sounds like luggage being dropped in a parking garage.
For tracks like “Passivity,” Wehman’s ham-fisted insistence on meddling about with the equipment yields little time for listeners to gather the various elements mentally before yet another predictable shift in tempo. Some artists—Muslimgauze comes to mind—are able to pull this sort of thing off well, working with repetitious samples ad nauseum while introducing randomness and conflict into the mix.
For “Cycle Stasis,” Wehman doesn’t appear to trust his material enough, or perhaps even understand it. Interesting moments, such as the pseudo-overtone singing near the end of “Nirodha” are cut long before they have a chance to develop. “Abiogenesis,” the final piece, is treated in a similar manner, fading out rather arbitrarily and unfortunately at what is a high point of the album.
Though this reviewer had to make do with a digital copy, “Cycle Stasis” duplicates this soggy performance across both sides of the cassette release, resulting in a second unbroken experience of hapless ambience for any listener dull enough to flip the tape.Dave X