[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
The last time I heard from this guy, he was burning up the dance floor like some kind of moloko+’d Travolta. Now he’s back at that same floor with a belt sander and some dynamite. If “Reeling Skullways” was the penultimate disco inferno for a vodka collins bender gone through the deep fry cycle, “Acid Tracts” is the bileous dry heaving you’d find out on the street after the club has closed down and the last bus has already come and gone. To put it mildly, remember what it was like having to kill those four or five hours until public transit fired back up? You’d wander places otherwise avoided, you would encounter people and situations which during the day you couldn’t possibly imagine.
The Clef systematically disassembles his songs like a surgeon with precision blades. Perhaps this wasn’t what he had in mind when he sat down to begin this EP, there’s little doubt about the results however. We always hear from others how much they wished they were a fly on the wall in given situations; Bass Clef gives us that opportunity now. This is that singular moment of surreptitious surveillance, the all-seeing eye which misses nothing. A passively opened lens that records everything passing before it. Oh, is this not what you’d imagined? Are you becoming uneasy with how much actually does transpire when you’re not looking? Beginning to wonder why he did this kind of work?
Just because, that’s why. Look no further afield than this if you want to step outside your own realm of comfortable existence. These jarring pieces of synthetic deviance have a mind of their own, inserting breaks here, applying the chop and drowning the remains in heady atmospheric meltdowns there. Nothing is out of bounds, there are no limits. You like that progression? That’s nice, because it’ll be completely erased in a matter of seconds then replaced by maimed, broken near catatonic electronics. Don’t be too distraught, it isn’t like he just switches on the drones and tunes out, not our man of leisurely cerebral disintegration.
Every single one of these six works are more than generous with their run time, no avenue is left unexplored. The author of all this mayhem himself states in the press release that the terrain of “Acid Tracts” can change drastically even if you have acquired the seemingly stable digital format. Organic synthesis has just been taken out behind the wood shed and given a good thrashing, for no other reason than it could be given one. There isn’t a grand, unifying theorem which can be applied here. Time signatures are trotted out, ravished and subsumed by others in rapid, almost rapacious succession. Pure chaos has been funneled onto these works (one of which is a magnificently sprawling outtake from those Skullways) and there isn’t any sign of reprieve coming.
Most who hear this thing are going to switch it off after a few minutes, the battering nature of this material is designed to push endurance on the part of the listener to new heights… unless endurance isn’t a requirement. Maybe some of us like it here. Maybe some of us like it here and would like some more because our own appreciation for the work he does is expanding much as his own artistic palette has. Be assured, “Acid Tracts” is a transitional stop on the way to places and perceptions I can’t begin to imagine. I’m sure he already has.