A Brooklyn Radiator's Negative Dialectic of Computer Play

How to melt your music
photo: Lasse Marhaug/Old Bombs

The modern computer composer refuses to die! And the Best Buy super machine on the desktop now enables every citizen to duplicate the artistry of Surgical Penis Klinik. No longer trapped and confined by messy, analog tape manipulation, all one need do is press software buttons for transforms that make any music sound like broken glass or a broken cartoon motor, or the synaptical orgasmic joy one experiences from eating clove cigarettes while reading edutainments in Wired or BoingBoing.

Old Bombs are Brooklyn's most noisome artists, and their Audios is at the apex of the big pyramid of computer cut-paste-and-smish-into-a-blob. The album is nothing so pedestrian as Throbbing Gristle's "Hamburger Lady," and it greases the synchronized screams interleaved with shattering beer bottles of SPK's Leichenschrei.

So frankly, it's the music of a CD left too long near the heating vent: the harmonious glitching and scratching that result when the laser can't read the fried and faded dye used to encode digital sound. There's a great cut—I don't know the name of it, "Audio Number something or other"—with Doppler shifts sweeping the very high frequency spectrum, causing that pleasant pop in your eardrum when a shrill squeal passes beyond the human capacity to hear it.

Part of the Cage/Asmus Tietchens/Chrome Red Exposure/Mnemonists/fillinyourfave fun of Audios is said to be the identification of not properly licensed samples. I think I can hear about 10 seconds of the riff from "Willie the Pimp" on it. But I might be mistaken, hmm, hmm.

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