Review: Florent Colautti – NanoM+ / Untitled#ºº

“nanoM+” opens deceptively – parallel-running drones simmer gently and expand, seemingly destined for a very gradual unfolding, barely rousing itself into a state of subconscious. A couple of glitches in the first few minutes allude to something amiss, before the piece spills open and fully unveils its state of instability and surprise. The early stretch of meditative stasis – a reliable throb and straight, mid-frequency lines – is a husk, barely veiling the series of accidents set to unfurl from beneath. From here, the music collapses on its own buzz of bad circuitry and susceptibility to data-wiping virus: beeps stammer into malfunction, bass frequencies chug and electrify the surrounding air, inward breaths of guitar feedback smatter the web of noise. Colautti’s most captivating technique in this first piece is invasive proximity, which most beautifully manifests as a viscous, bubbling foam crammed right down the ear drums.

“Untitled” is like tracking a packet of binary information as it writhes across a network. One portion of the journey fades into the next – it slips through the metronomical beeps of cyber gateways and out into calamitous eruptions of white noise, forever surrounding by the chattering, morse code-esque signals whizzing past. At one point the electronic gives way to the sound of something wielding a circular saw in a snowstorm (all bitter distortion blasts and metallic, resonant shrieks) before fading out to reveal dead-air debris and feedback. It’s a more inevitable, undeviating journey than “nanoM+” to begin with, but it soon falls victim to the continual collapse that births the sudden directional shifts in the first half. A most interesting record, and one that seems to (unintentionally perhaps, but potently nonetheless) explore the introduction of chance, via questionable craftsmanship, into the seemingly formidable world of computerised information transfer.