Review: Chad Mossholder – Non-Site Specific

Chad Mossholder - Non-Site SpecificOn Non-Site Specific, Mossholder operates exclusively within the realms of electronic synthesis. He can control everything. There are no unexpected intrusions or colliding variables; he can isolate processes and enact them with the purity of mathematics, in a vacuum of unconditional predictability. Yet the record isn’t comprised of spotless blocks of sound, quantised and cloned, intersecting at perfect right-angles – Mossholder mimics the imposition of the natural universe, subjecting his music to a synthetic weather and thousands of crashing micro-circumstances. What if his binary strings were implanted in robots left to wander a field in Dorset somewhere, subjecting their faultless computations to sideways winds and waning battery life?

Each particle is manually placed. Mossholder has to simulate the flux of external influence, one block at a time. Bass drums explode like cannon balls flying into the side of ships, ungainly and variant in their manner of impact. Synthesisers linger like bowed strings and billow like choir voices clogging the roof space of churches, or stutter like failing halogen lights, or sweep like traffic noise in a tunnel. My brain tears from hearing abstract shapes behaving like real-world objects, as repetition is enforced with the sloppy inconsistency of petrol-motorised mechanics. There are tiny hints toward electronic dance music but Mossholder never locks into anything my body movements can tether themselves to; instead, it’s like a techno track undergoing an MOT, sent buzzing and fizzing through a series of tests and repairs. It’s almost unsettling to hear artificial synthesis as realistic as this. Where I previously interacted with these textures with the same level of abstraction as emotion and thought, my mind embodies the sounds of Non-Site Specific with aroma and moisture. An overlap is growing.