Sunday, July 21, 2013

Homeowner - Themes from 172 - Orange Milk Records

Homeowner is the solo guise of Joe Bastardo who also plays in the duo Looks Realistic and the jam/drone trio of Gay Shapes.  But let’s not forget his solo outings as Bastian Void which has had great releases the past few years.  Joe is real busy.
This Homeowner release we are lead into electronic havoc unlike the simple melodies of Looks Realistic and the pulsating live drones of Gay Shapes.  It reminds me of early M. Geddes Gengras releases (process wise) where the form is built with layer upon layer and the overall shapes that rise to the surface come from the interaction of all the elements.  But Homeowner does something very different than allowing it to be very busy, instead the spacing and layering feel really deliberate and composed rather than set to auto pilot.  It is as if Milton Babbit had composed “Occasional Variations” with better technology and a little Ritalin.
Speaking of Milton Babbit those older dudes were doing electronic music from no point of reference. They had no cultural hang-ups and neither does Homeowner.  There are points of reference hinting to technological sources but it never surfaces in the sounds.  Also the whole tape almost leans towards IDM at points but never goes there allowing for a fresh improvised feel that is actually well thought out.
My personal favorite elements are the samples.  There are small signals to a human hand involved along with the sounds of other instruments.  I love musique concrete and so would love to hear more play with tape in future releases.  Also I love tapes you get lost in, I honestly could not tell you which side I was listening to but it is not repetitive.  Its overall sound is of something with mass and takes up space. Over all this is a great work for the post-noise electro acoustic revival.  Also Orange Milk is one of those labels that really have their design down tight.  The aesthetic gives a proto-Nintendo climax without being nostalgic; design worth the moolah.


Joe's Label Moss Archive

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