Review: Event Cloak - Reprogramming (Tranquility Tapes, 2012)
Knowing that Event Cloak is Nick Maturo, the ½ of Canadian ambient unit Sundrips might led you to believe that “Reprogramming” is yet another cassette of soothing and relaxed sounds with a droney edge. It’s okay to believe that, many side-projects of better known bands fall into the trap called “sounding the same as original band, only simpler”, especially in the whole cassette drone scene. So don’t get too scared when you’re greeted with harsh, glitchy intro with fragmented, nearly tormented vocal transmissions reminiscent of Morton Subotnick on amphetamines. “Reprogramming” sees Maturo maturing, and expanding beyond the lazy, hazy confines of New New Age muzak.
Sure, the sounds on the cassette will often wander into the well worn territories of sequencer-heavy prog electronix, but always with a noisy, atonal twist, experimenting with Reich-like fragmentation and attempts at applying minimalist methods at the analog synthesizer revival. Fragments of some tracks might seem forced and needlessly stretched at times, but then again, most minimalism can sound forced and stretched to the less patient listeners. Electronic madness bobs up and down, switching from fluorescent noisy escapades to almost endless walls of purified electronic drone. There will be also times when Event Cloak will totally surprise, like the cut-up sound collages and plunderphonic bliss on some tracks, mixing mauled, distorted speech samples with fragments of someone else’s songs devoid of any context, creating a chaotic narrative in an uknown language based on English. Microscopic pieces of movie quotes, news broadcasts and (probably) speech samples recorded by Maturo himself blend into a microcosmos in the vein of Akufen, sans the microhouse beats.
“Reprogramming”, as an album, shows great potential. At approximately 54 minutes, it is the collection of ideas from Nick Maturo, who might want to distance himself from the tired ambience of Sundrips (or maybe not), and expand his musical horizons into the previously unheard areas. Godspeed to him, I say. Guessing from his individual ideas of how to sculpt sounds, he has a bright future in front of him. Just don’t be afraid to go all the way into other genres and directions, Nick. I wish you the best.