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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Genetic Transmission ‎ - Spójrzcie Пожалm [Zoharum - 2018]

Spójrzcie Пожалуйста, Jakie Piękne Macie Gęby is the latest release in Zoharum’s ongoing GT Archive Series, where they reissue albums from the band’s back catalogue. 

Genetic Transmission is the work of Polish composer and sound designer Thomas Twardawa. Taking found sounds and samples, and harsh metallic noise and melding them into a performance piece, previous albums had only ever featured analog equipment whereas Spójrzcie Пожалуйста, Jakie Piękne Macie Gęby, originally released on D.S.B.M.W. in 2002 was the first Genetic Transmission album to feature the use of computers. This album is deemed to be more experimental than previous releases as Twardawa adopts a cut and paste technique to add to his found sounds and samples, that is reminiscent of the style of electronic pioneers Nurse with Wound.

The album features seven unnamed tracks, which I will refer to as tracks 1-7 in order to make it plain which track I am discussing. The album opens with the sound of a lone barking dog, this is soon augmented by various electronic scraping sounds whilst a drone slowly builds over the track’s length in the background. It takes a couple of minutes for a pattern to form but when it does it works well, providing an otherworldly, creepy and atmospheric feel to the track. The track continues to grow and develop across its full nine minutes before fading away at the finale till only the barking dog remains. This is a great opener and probably my favourite track on the album. There is a cohesiveness about the track that doesn’t quite gel across the rest of the record in the same way.

The second track is quite different, much harsher and less contemplative, and it hits like a shock to the system. A cornucopia of white noise, electronic sounds, glitchy noises and tape loops batter the listener with a much more intense sonic experience. This is quite a departure from the opening track but nevertheless it still has some interesting touches. Track three is the point at which we really start to see Twardawa’s interest in cut and paste music come to life. We are bombarded with cut ups of found sounds and samples, that deliver a mashed up dissonance. There is no layering up to produce a full sound at this time, merely jump cut after jump cut. This continues across the album and gives the sense of a lack of cohesion, which I believe to be an intentional move on the part of Twardawa. Occasionally, such as on track four this lack of cohesion actually works to Twardawa’s advantage, and as the track builds and grows it takes on new aspects and suddenly a cohesiveness appears out of material that was originally lacking in cohesion. The rest of the album follows a similar path mixing up cut ups, and harsh noise to interesting effect.

Overall, this is an interesting sonic experiment with one or two tracks that genuinely impress, the opener in particular has an unsettling sense of horror that oozes from every pore. Sadly this is never really developed elsewhere on the album and what could have been a genuinely brilliant sonic experience has become an interesting but flawed on.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Darren Charles
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