We Need No Swords on Beginners

We Need No Swords comes back with a take on <em>Beginners</em>:

‘Beginners’, from San Francisco’s Billy Gomberg, is prime Dinzu. An artist who draws from different experimental and underground musicking practices – ambient drift, electroacoustic composition, improvisation, and so on – Gomberg has amassed a pretty decent-sized discography over the past few years, with releases on Another Timbre, Strange Rules, Marginal Frequency and others (the muted clonks of 2016’s ‘Slight At That Contact’ are a favourite round these parts). This is Gomberg’s second outing for Dinzu Artefacts, following on from last year’s ‘Transition’, and it amps up the fusty, fuzzy eerieness this time around to produce a creeped-out soundscape that’s up there with Jandek’s ‘Ready For The House’ in terms of skin-prickling spookiness. Here, muffled clunks and bangs merge with queasy, sustained tones, with ambient hum and tape hiss providing an uncomfortable translucent sheen. Everything sounds disconcertingly out of phase, as if bleeding through from a parallel dimension, the everyday life of ghosts captured accidentally by a hapless field recorder. EVP via the Tascam DR-40. Sonic ectoplasm in the Zoom. Most eye-popping of all is ‘Seeing The Sequel First’, where a plangent chorus of clangs plays out against a backdrop of subdued growls and murmurs, like some wraith gamelan playing lullabies for the beasts of the abyss.

Beginners in Tabs Out

Tabs Out covers Beginners and the rest of this batch of tapes out now from Dinzu Artefacts:

Gray Lee writes about Beginners:

A sonic playground of organic tactile sensations. Eerie air moves through hollow tunnels filled with unusual fragments of forgotten lives. Quiet inspections of abandoned possessions take place in shadowed dusty alcoves. Unseen breezes sway aluminum sculptures in filtered sunlight. Is this recording for beginners, who are just starting to explore a hidden world? Explore that world yourself, and you may begin to know.

A Changed Meaning in The Alcohol Seed

Lovely and thoughtful examination of A Changed Meaning in The Alcohol Seed:

“…no bullshit…”

check out the writeup at the following link or read on below:

https://alcoholseed.com/2018/01/28/like-mountain-air-billy-gombergs-a-changed-meaning/

The prolific electroacoustic artist and Fraufraulein member, Billy Gomberg, had an eventful 2017. A Changed Meaning was one of two tapes to see the light of day throughout the year — the other, Transition, was released by Dinzu Artifacts (just named Experimedia’s favourite label of 2017). You might say that A Changed Meaning is Gomberg sticking to his bread and butter, but, even though the formula is a familiar one, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been refined. This might be conjecture, but the contemporary stage for minimalist experimental music seems no longer set for improvisation and guitar drone. Much of what’s been coming down the pike sounds more manufactured than played, donning an algorithmic gloss I don’t always care for.

A Changed Meaning is a refreshing rebuttal to these pillowy works, the album possessing a quality of performance much like a handmade ring carries the mark of its silversmith. Like mountain air, Gomberg’s dronescapes are cold, diaphanous, and expansive. The music has a harsh noise physicality to it, where the harsh aspect is replaced with moodiness and foreboding. From these blackened, nebulous compositions we’re given a window into a world of finer textures that exist closer to the core: purposeful and calculable string vibrations brought to life by electromagnetic pulses. Whatever else is going on is hard to say — some electroacoustic wizardry no doubt. What is apparent is that Gomberg can reign in this music at will, and he does so at pivotal moments to keep his pieces on course.

A Changed Meaning doesn’t push boundaries, nor does Gomberg attempt to reinvent drone music here. What we have instead is a another solid release from a dependable musician. I can appreciate a lofty epic as much as the next guy, but the albums that tend to hold the most clout over time are the straightforward, no bullshit ones. Time will inevitably tell, but I think Gomberg has achieved this with A Changed Meaning. Here’s to hoping we see more work from him in 2018.