[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Never judge a book by it’s cover, words which we have all been told at one point or another in our life. Just because the surroundings appear quaint and back-water doesn’t mean it is so; growing up, I spent a lot of time in outlying small towns before the boom of development annihilated them. Even at that young age what went on inside the other homes in the neighborhood proved fascinating. It is this same sort of exploration into tantalizing inner spaces which The Transit Board have somehow connected to the present.
This is no quick peek behind the curtains, either.
Imagine, if you will, walking out behind a farmhouse into the barn and instead of finding livestock you discover arcane and eclectic electronic equipment filling up the place. ‘A Summons From the Firstborn’ primarily aims for the mind with it’s grand sequences being sublimely buttressed with curiously placed snarls of noise; for as alienating as a lot of this record sounds it has a surprisingly whimsical aspect to it. Don’t be too concerned, there’s nothing of a syrupy nature in any of this, more a feeling of open ended imagination which has managed to free itself from the dour daily cycle adulthood can sometimes bring.
There’s also an aura of mystery to these pieces given how they shift and swerve through aural textures as a matter of routine, never staying complacent or lingering too long on a given set of notes. You move between the colorful layers of sound easily; getting off track is par for the course because our composer has also given these beauties a hypnotic sheen that is both reassuring and thoroughly unnerving. It would appear that the more you break down the acts on Stars, Dots and the “new” Junk, the more they surprise.
Much like some grains of sand being glass, these innocuously assembled formations also have their sharper edges which are all too eager to come out and play.
Far away from constricting, carnivorous cities with nothing but the stars to light your way at night; in the distance there’s a glow coming from those toiling, heaving masses but out here there’s little to hold a person back from doing whatever it is they wish. It is quite a novel artistic conceit to have done what he has: create music designed solely for the purpose of concealment. I am hopeful that others will take up this mantle as well; in the quiet places and spaces left undisturbed something stirs.