2CD HMS 012

Signal To Noise
Spring 2009

...the reclusive Clinton Williams packed up a "damaged cassette deck" and two suitcases of drum machines, effects, and analog synths and traveled to Wanganui, a small urban area of New Zealand's west coast. Over five months, Williams recorded these low-key fragments of loops, drones, and fuzzed and blurred textures. Some flow by in a few minutes, while others hum along for close to ten. What they all share is a subtle, organic sense of pace and texture. It is as if he is taking a stethoscope to catch and amplify the breaths and palpitations of an alien world. Or maybe, they're the sonic realization of the electromagnetic waves emanating from a distant quasar. And while the shifting layers and fluttering rhythms have a sense of understated brooding, they never fade into mere ambient groove. Williams is far too keyed in to the subtle shadings and colors for that. There's a hermetic feel to his music: the sound of a focused aesthetic filtering and refining the music down to a core essence. Maybe this will inspire someone to reissue some of Williams' earlier work, including his three-CD magnum opus Quad.