Review: Jason Kahn – Thirty Seconds Over

Jason Kahn - Thirty Seconds OverThe process of wringing sound out of Jason Kahn’s equipment seems arduous. Static spews out like water from a disused water tap, black with the residue of wayward radio signal and synthesiser noise, coming in intermittent spurts or not at all. It isn’t long before I start taking delight from these electronic dry-heaves; where so much electronic music flows effortlessly in a unidirectional stream, Kahn demonstrates how to render sound as an agonising spell of constipation, forcing back against its own being, crumpling like foil as it withers away from the air. Side A ends in two minutes of sheer white noise orgasm, entertaining an effortlessness that the rest of the tape is powerless to achieve.

I hear so much within those dense bursts of faltering static and feedback: a fire extinguisher let off for no reason, the pulsation of helicopter blades heard beyond an inadequately sound-proofed window, the squeal of a circular saw pressing against a rusted iron sheet, the turning unoiled wheels of a gigantic bicycle, the garish horn of an oncoming train, snippets of radio fodder dance track. Thirty Seconds Over has traversed broken wiring and feeble voltage levels to reach me, which hinder the energy flow to such an extent that large pockets of Side B hang in the anxious silence of nothing happening. It is broken and pathetic in its final form, yet I am enamoured with those perforations of failure – the dents of silence that tell me what didn’t make it, bringing extra definition to the shape of what did.