US and UK record shops giving the good word:
I keep on getting whined at for giving staff weird and difficult ambient music to review so…hey…the boot is on the other foot now. See if I like it.
Billy Gomberg is surely ambient music’s best Billy. Here he has created a fascinating soundtrack of buzzes and hisses that is sometimes cold and dislocated and sometimes warm and hopeful. This twisting shards of sound seem to grow out reaching tendril like towards the ear. ‘Acute’ is cut and splintered as if glued together with gloy but when he lets the buzzes form into a whole as on the silken ‘Mammals on Stilts’ or the truly delicious ‘Caprice’ he dives headlong into the murky grainy world of the Caretaker. This is the most dislocated track here but also the best. The kind of thing that would be happy soundtracking rain pouring down a rustic window on the grey-est day of the year. Stellar ambient stuff to be sad to.
Brooklyn’s Billy Gomberg is an electronic musician who dials back to the clicks and cuts milieu that explored the poetics of a single systematic glitch that could end the world. The celebrated failure of Y2K to bring down civilization left at worst a shadow of paranoia and at best an ambivalence toward the technologies that infiltrate our collective mind, body and spirit. Many artists, Coil in particular, embraced these concepts in a teleological perversion. Gomberg finds himself in a similar cathedral of re-engineered sound, though he’s more of an agnostic in worshiping the glitch. Slight At That Contact is a circumspect album that mopes and shuffles through digital slices and fractures of what may have started out as some spartan tribute to Chet Baker. The surfaces of pixilated polygons, lossy frequency artifacts and deliberately awkward juxtaposition allow for distorted glimpses into what may have once been. Gomberg’s somber synthesis of the tonal quality of bass, clarinet, drum and even bird song have all been fabricated through the realm of the digital, but the existential ennui of these maudlin, overcast sounds carries through regardless.