Sep 15, 2016, 09:54AM

No Breathing at the Other End

52 Weeks of Elizabeth Veldon, Week 37: “walking across christ's pieces one summer i had a vision of a life lived by the campsies, watching the slow erosion of time” (9/25/15).

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Is “walking across christ’s pieces…” the least likely defibrillation strategy ever, or just a very elaborate way to troll dolphins? Its first few seconds are brisk and staccato, as if a tennis ball was somehow bouncing itself, back and forth, in an ever-narrowing alley. Then all bets are off. The beats can’t or won’t lock into one continuous rhythm or pitch. (Seriously, put the dog out for this one.) Pings poke insistently at the ether or echo clear through to its far side. Effects burst like miniature fireworks. Querulous, crepuscular wavelength twists zip-lock the ambiance—not insistent enough to be warnings, not benign enough to tune out.

The overall effect is not far removed from Futures-era Dead Machines covering Tortoise’s “Djed.” For this listener, that’s a bonus: lemon-sucked minimalism dusted with a handful of maximalist angel dust. As pure, test-signal theater, “walking” is a diverting adventure. As a metaphor for a shattered monoculture—all those sonic tracers sent into the great beyond, often lost and rarely reciprocated—it is, perhaps, too eerie a reflection of a world growing colder and lonelier, moment by moment.


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