Review: Infinite Third - Isolationism (Otherworldly Mystics, 2012)
It seems that while everyone else try to bury their ambient music in tape hiss and lo-fi mystery, Infinite Third strikes with head-spinning clarity and sharpness of sound, reaching back to Aphex Twin’s game-changing Selected Ambient Works series while still retaining some of the nostalgic guitar hypnagogia in the vein of newer Mark McGuire. The electric guitar is the main tool of trade for Billy Mays III (I’m still in the process of defining whether it’s a real name or not). He modifies and stretches the possibilities of the instrument by processing it through a heap of guitar effects and computer programming to create enveloping, adventurous structures with a sense of melancholy.
While the idea of completely detaching the electric guitar from the rock context and translating it into the ambient language might have “been there, done that” written all over it, Infinite Third’s tape has a feel of freshness and, well, uh, life into it. “Isolationism” stands out among the long rows of anonymous lo-fi minimalistic synth dronescapes with its intricate, melodic structures filled with ghosts and memories who chatter, laugh and casually conversate between the monumental pillars of guitar-computer sound. Mays’ penchant for reversing sounds might remind of the early tape experiments back in the space age, yet the tape sounds thoroughly modern and polished.
What is more, and what is extremely important, is the fact that every track (or should I rather say, song?) on the cassette has its own identity and a different mood which correspond to the title. A rare feat in an evironment where the song titles tend to be two esotheric-sounding words (e.g. “Amethyst Spoon”, “Postmodern Lysergism” etc.) which blend into each other without the listener even noticing the change. A fine, mature and truly moving ambient cassette from the visionary underground.
9 Notes/ Hide
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