Various Artists - Zelphabet Volume C [Zelphabet - 2008]The excellent Zelphabet series returns for its third volume in the proposed 26 volume series and once again it’s another highly enjoyable collection of experimental and noise matter this time around we’ve got four tracks on offer with one each from Charlemagne Palestine, Chop Shop, Contagious Orgasm and C Spencer Yeh.
The First track is from Charlemagne Palestine entitled Oberlin College Spectral Continuum which is an extract from a live recording made in Cleveland Ohio in 1974. The track is centred around an endless warming drone thats possible made from string or piano tone, with subtle sonic movements underneath; there’s a sound of an engine, room movement, plane sound, what could be scarping ect- whether these were deliberate made sounds or just picked up on the recording is unshaw, but it’s as a whole the track is an effective slice of what Palestine does. Next up a Chop Shop track called Retrofit which starts by attacking you with a galloping/ tension building lo-fi feedback wall of grim tone that keeps cutting in and out in a rather jarringly effectively manner. As the track progresses the original elements depart to be replaced by new feedback hazes, noise drones that have often have an odd grimmy harmonic feel to them and often jarringly cut out. I guess it’s a more condensed and slightly more structure take on what he did on the recent Oxide album.
Next is Contagious Orgasm track Heart Station which starts off with a great manic and twisting noise xylophone sound, before dropping into a strange mix of different sound levels; you have noise smart suddenly over run by dialogue talking in a formal manner about Japanese culture thats then mowed down by dense and muffled rhythmic runs, that are then jabbed out of the way by careening guitar and then drops into layered eating and drink sound before somersaulting into more chaos. Really A great slice of deranged sonic madness! Lastly we have the C Spencer Yeh's Three Synthesizers March 2008 which is centred around a series of pulsing and urgent synth loops to which Spencer shifts smaller noise and synth textures around- it feels like a robot going through a break down or slowly burn out. It starts to get more searing and volatile as it goes on with Spencer building up a quite and effective tense atmosphere.
Yet another great and consistent volume in this series and as usually to find out more check into hereRoger Batty