Review: Superlith – Plasma Clusters

In Plasma Clusters, two instruments that could be seen to lack too much common ground, collaboratively speaking, begin to intimately co-empathise and find solace in eachother once their players bring them into a choking, spluttering demise. Julius Masri’s circuit-bent Casio keyoards scream as their wires are wrenched out of joint and reconnected at cruel and agonising angles, alternating between strange harmonic swarms and sudden eruptions of filth; shrieking back at the maker of their misuse, spitting sparks of electronic death. Barely a single note is omitted by Blacksberg’s accompanying trombone; instead, breath leaks out like the heave of hydraulic joints, interjected by crude, splittle-flecked raspberries and brassy tones whimpering at themselves. They make for botched and ugly company.

Remarkably, the intrigue and energy within their conversation doesn’t wane over the five tracks. The pair patiently harvest each idea for all its worth, tapping into new states exclusive to those practitioners of persistence and duration. The reverb on both instruments is light, ghostly – conjured the image of both players crammed ungracefully into a small bathroom – while the dissonance that arises between them is tense and indulgently explored, as Masri and Blacksberg spend all of Plasma Clusters eyeballing eachother, gritting their teeth. Only on “Termination And Bow Shock” does the tension dissipate momentarily, with both musicians finding a wonky sort of droning tonal alignment and sharing their own demented “Om” moment.