Review: Sun Yizhou – Heresy


The titles of these two-part pieces – “Mistake”, “Disruption” – speak to the record’s primary interests: not the perfect realisation of a vision, but the stuff spilled between the aim and the outcome. The sound of miscalibration, of excess, of error. The only sound sources are no-input pre-amp and radio, the former forcefully bent to produce splutters and hums, the latter probing the wasteland between stations. Raw electronic noises appear, modulate and abruptly stop as if succumbing to broken cabling, the edges perforated by crackling and plosives that pock the pipes of low drone and radio signal-sweep squeal.

Key to the sensation of Heresy is that Yizhou resists the allure of compositional structure, never expanding on a given idea or locking into a discernible rhythm. As a result it feels structurally flat, lacking in beginnings or endings, cycling through innumerable combinations of low stuttering and high whining, or one or the other, whiling away time in a waiting room for nowhere. Duration thus feels somewhat arbitrary, and the conclusion of each piece might as well be the product of a powercut – intervening forces from the outside – rather than an act of Yizhou’s volition. It’s the greyscale excavation of shape and intent, leaving only the buzzing, hissing emanations of the functionally sabotaged and the peripherally astray.

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