Review: VOX SOL – A Place Colder And Brighter Than The Days Of His Youth

VOX SOL - A PlaceThe 22 minutes of A Place… enact a state of memory jam, where the sheer mass of recollection starts to overwhelm the limited capacity of the mind. Slugs of voice and noise manage to seep to the surface, damaged by the combination of extreme heat and compression, carrying the sloppy residue of memories with which they have no affiliation: tattered glitches of badly-played piano, the jovial, time-eroded yelps of children, howls of unidentifiable static (globes of nostalgia perhaps, squashed into a state of disrepair). What makes these collages so mesmeric is that two distinct forces are in oppositional operation: the nauseating disarray of the memory clot, and the frantic recovery procedure that tries to re-assert coherence into the jumble of happening. The album staggers between passages of distinct rhythm (overloaded, semi-danceable thumps of electronica) and gigantic, nonsensical wet heaves of remembrance, forever erupting into mess and mending itself all over again.

The record explores all manner of sonic sabotage: the muffling grain and pitch-warping of analogue tape, the semi-automatic stutters of CD, the alien corruptions of the digital format. I’m accustomed to experiencing a nostalgic warmth when I hear the soft warble of cassette recordings, yet here they writhe amidst distinctly digital afflictions: pixelations quiver upon the creases of magnetic tape, while plosive pops of dust are manipulated into quick-fire computer loops. It’s a thoroughly fucked origami of time and space, crumpling its source material like a used piece of snotty tissue – reckless and impulsive, devoid of any reverie for the past.

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