2CD HMS 005

Foxy Digitalis
December 2005

Leave it to the head office at Helen Scarsdale to drop the latest legit pressing of an Omit album on American shores. New Zealand sound artist Clinton Williams has quietly made his reverberating homemade minimal noise for two decades now, molding deep, constantly evolving suburban symphonies that somehow transform the every day into the pan dimensional. Tracer is an indispensable reissue of a double CD-R that was released on Williams' SySecular label, and given the consistently mind-expanding qualities of every second of this monolithic work, it's sad to think it could've all but disappeared with nary a subsonic rumble felt the world over.

Despite a constant narcotic quality, Tracer manages to follow a wide berth of sonic possibilities across its undulating expanses. This is music that exists in between--the conscious and unconscious, past and present, life and death, minimalism and noise. Every one of these tracks breathes with a sinister degraded edge. Whether Williams is reaching for the sky or drilling deep into the substrate is entirely up for debate. I'd guess he's doing both, depending on which track I hear. His gift comes in how he transforms everyday surroundings into gateways to new worlds. This music will transport any tuned in deep listener to a variety of alien landscapes--some exalted, some beyond imagination.

On a bulk of this album, warping tones phase in and out over a manipulated sound sample or field recording: Opener "Sequester" splays dense alien fuzz over robotic beats and a backdrop loop of automated voice instructions, transforming the mundane data minutia of our every day into God-like commandments from beyond. The effect is immediately felt as volume seems to lose mass and time slows down, not so much approaching the speed of light as illustrating the speed of drone. An automated voice menu becomes a portal to another dimension. An effected gust of wind suggests the climate change of some radioactive wasteland. Who knows how many new dimensions might one day be discovered? Omit is interested in at least exploring their different aural properties with a relentless tonal palette of minimal pulse and dark ambient ooze.

This is probably what industrial music should sound like, but it's not industrial. Post-industrial? Sure, we'll give you that. Omit is the sound of a millennia of progress--building up, crumbling down and ultimately recombining the very molecules of existence. Of course, Williams would probably say I'm off my rocker, and he just wants to make a dreamy / nightmarish drone with occasional levitated beats. What do I know? Tracer is an ideal document for late night stumbling through alternate dimensions, and necessary listening for any fan of mind-expanding trance states via subtle aural manipulation. - Lee Jackson