Electronic Music 2000-2005
EM 00-05 is the debut CD release from sometime noise-monger Max Lord, a musician mostly unknown outside of the Boston noise scene. The first dip into this studio recluse's tape archive is electro-acoustic abstraction from start to finish. Despite being known as a percussionist, Lord leaves little resembling a beat on this record. His compositions consist of scattered irrational events and puddles of electronic surprises. Each strange new noise is distinctly etched by this skilled studio manipulator, but maintains an appealing handmade physicality. While the kitchen sink of electronic instruments is in use, a clear aesthetic ties all of these pieces together. Whether sitting at the drum-set or bossing around patch cables, Lord gathers up improvisational accidents into a set of compelling wholes. The first three pieces feature the Buchla Marimba Lumina, an electronic percussion instrument that Lord uses to scatter vibraphone tones, 70s analog synthesizer scribbles and enveloping clouds of sine-waves across an atonal piano and drum accompaniment. A pair of drone pieces follow. The 13-minute 'Struck' is an intoxicating haze of looping mallet and organ notes but delivers too many electric pin-pricks along the way to be called ambient. 'City Too Hot' builds up layers of half-speed tape loops and sizzling oscillators into a fuzzy mess of confused space rock. The remainder of the record treats the listener to several powerbook-sourced soundscapes, mixing underwater noise washes with prickly digital percussion. The final piece, an incomprehensible combination of harsh noise and new age tones is justifiably notorious.