MACHINIST NOISE ASSAULT
~reviewed by Mick Mercer
Brandon Malzahn is a one-man electronic army, with his keyboards unruly, and his quaking mind filled with artistic visions. This is the third, or fourth (his site being confusing), of six full albums. He operates betwixt the smouldering ashes of Industrial and Ambient, as he moulds murk, and lurks in mould. He is the modern sound of Youth + Computers = Varying Levels Of Pretension.
I like it! And it isn’t just me, because ginger cats, I can exclusively reveal, like it too. Reviewing it at Lynda’s her oldest cat Sam jumped from the airing cupboard where he had been contemplating the black mass set in a building site which is ‘Parasitic Symbiosis’ coming up through the floor towards him, and then raced into the front room to enjoy ‘Television’ with its pottering Fad Gadget-lite electronics. Mind you, Sammy is old enough to remember SPK. The far younger Toffee sauntered in, attracted by ‘Relaxative’ hoping the duff was about to become doof, only to be disappointed and turn away, muttering something I didn’t quite catch about Throbbing Gristle. Then there he sat, facing the fire with the perfect, haughty demeanour of one who treasures Experimental Music . You know the type. If you say you find it interesting but wouldn’t buy it they study you pityingly, because Only They Know what Real Music Is. (On a point of interest, Toffee’s head, when viewed from behind, resembles that of an owl.)
People like Brandon doubtless have their heroes from the Experimental and Industrial world, and collect records most of us would happily throw further than we’ve ever thrown anything in our lives - BUT…in ‘Isolthalamus’ Brandon creates real magic at the beginning and you should be seriously impressed, because he’s cracked it. He can do the right stuff, but he also wanders through the meaningless maze of modern light Industrial where it’s kick in with a rhythm then make funny noises. He made me laugh with ‘Television (Bedtime)’ as the noises were extremely amusing, and I liked the way ‘Glass Shards’, with just a light dusting of guitar wiggled furiously, then eleven and a half minutes of ‘Requiem For A Daydrea,’ tended not to be even remotely ambient or experimental, but beautiful and sonorous.
The guy has talent. I’m just not sure he knows what to do with it, or this album would have had a central focus. Instead it has eyesight worthy of a drunken mole.