|irr. app. (ext.)
CD HMS 016
by John Ganland
Kreiselwelle is the final instalment of irr.app.(ext)’s (aka M.S. Waldron) triology revolving around themes from Wilhelm Reich, “the unorthodox 20th Century psychologist who proposed amongst many hypotheses, an interconnectivity between energy, organisms, and the entire cosmos. The title to this album translates as ‘spiral wave,’ a structuralist form which Reich had observed throughout nature within numerous systems, whether that be the grand arcs of galaxies down to the radial symmetries of micro-organisms.” Though this 45 minute found-sound collage featuring toy, electronics, and other impromptu instruments is intensely fascinating, gripping, and at times disturbing (certain flapping, feed-tube, pouring-a-viscous-substance type sounds, along with a very disturbing sharpening-of-knives are almost gleefully shudder-worthy and hard to get out of the head), I’m not really sure how a listener is supposed to make a connection between this patchwork and the seemingly fluid theories of Wilhem Riech. Riech’s theory seem to be about the homogeneity of all things, this ‘interconnectivity’ (which, amongst thinkers from all ages is often not so unorthodox). Yet Kreiselwelle as a piece, dwells in spaces that are very, very heterogeneous. Sounds collide here—it is what makes the piece so startling and eerie, like being in an abandoned toy factory submerged with filth and radioactive waste. It seems to express a feeling that all this is revolting, that (at least in terms of humans and there multifarious wires and buttons and, damnit, feed-tube sounds) there is a strong lack of any interconnectivity. At its most ambient moments, Waldron seems certainly to be adhering to Reich’s unifying theory—a bubbling primoridial soup is heard close to midway through, though it is overcome by a metallic scuttling noise like some porcelain centipede was crawling across a microphone. This ‘Spiral Wave’ is not a spiral wave at all but a seeming sludge river of scissor creatures in metal boxes, aborted erector sets come alive (like if the movie Toys was ten times more disturbing than it actually was), a nightmarish if not utterly fascinating sonic landscape that revels in the near-horror of our human fear of crisp, suckling, spinning, insect dungeons, or further, of being physically trapped in them. It is an excellent exercise in your brain’s ability to match noises to the most frightening things imaginable, and it really is almost a sort of Schadenfreude (to use another German psychological theory), if you have a strong enough stomach.
So the composition is not bad. At all. It isn’t anything near that, it is engineered with obvious skill, and is perhaps the most unsettling found-sound trip I’ve taken since Elegi’s “Sitereis”. It has great moments and, for those who don’t shrug away from compositions that sound like you’re on an alien operating table, it is certainly also well recorded, mixed, and sounds great (really aiding to some of holy-shit-I-feel-like-I’m-there moments)...