Review: Belly Full Of Stars – brokendatapool


brokendatapool is a support group for the sonically undesirable: a place of congregation for sounds that have been wounded by the world’s crueller tendencies. Broken office furniture is recast as an idiosyncratic timekeeper. The rubble of processed piano motifs is scattered like fragrant powder. There’s also a synth controller that was struck by lightning, and the improvisations played upon it feel strange and bodiless somehow, as if the bolt established a telekinetic link between player and the beyond. Damage and asymmetry are the characteristics that bring these sounds together, and so it’s no surprise that these pieces seem to exhibit a twitching, brittle confidence. The synthesisers on “skeletondrive” seem to be skulking around in the dark, too shy to emerge into full view. Glitches bring an anxious palpitation to the metal clangs on “skipandwow”.

Yet these dints and divergences occur within grander arcs of contentment. Chord changes tease out a gentle splendour like a smile uplifting the corners of a mouth, or sunlight pressing warmly into the back of a closed curtain. For all of the internal uncertainty – keyboards weathered into pale shades, pops and clicks of processing failure, rhythms that contradict eachother – brokendatapool is ultimately a zone of comfort and repair, where everything from spoiled CDs to dismantled chairs can turn their common mistreatment into a powerful, productive form of empathy.