irr. app. (ext.)
Ozeanishe Gefühle
CD HMS 002


Brainwashed Volume 7, Issue 27
reviewed by Lucas Schleicher

Matt Waldron's music as Irr. App. (Ext.) covers a spectrum from hallucinatory and intricate strings of sound that are broadcast from the universe of the wacky to found-sound recordings that share spaces with crunching glass, odd-ball vocal samples, and gorgeous guitar. Ozeanische Gefühle, however, comes as a complete surprise. Rooted in the experiments, philosophy, and beliefs of Wilhelm Reich, the term "ozeanische gefühle" translates, roughly, as "oceanic feelings." This term is wonderfully appropriate for the music Waldron has assembled on this recording. The self-titled and 42 minute opener is a consistently hypnotizing blend of bells, wooden drums (I think?), organs, submerged choirs, obscured hums, brushes, crickets, and solar flares. These references and images may seem fanciful, but one listen to the record will reveal that Waldron has somehow recorded life and placed it on a compact disc. Waldron's most exciting and captivating technique is his blending of completely opposite sounds into a whole. No matter how disparate Waldron's sound sources may be (horses trotting on brick roads, a poorly tuned ukulele, wooden boards crashing, rain drops and thunder, there are a ton of sounds I'm sure I'm missing), they sound entirely perfect together. The result is a strangely fascinating organism of living tissue, meterological events, and cosmic birth and death. The music isn't just fascinating though, it isn't just some exercise in academic sound collage. The sounds course and wind into each other and make a heavenly soft bed out of the air. The combination of bells, buzzes, sonic burps, and resounding echoes is radiant and graceful and never fails to soothe or entertain. The second track, "The Demiurge's Presumption," carries over from the sonic dust of the first 40+ minutes and blows it up to the tune of expanding straws, static electricty, broken springs, and divine presence. There is a constant ring through the track that attempts to obscure the work of a stream of sounds that pulses steadily beneath it. On the whole, the final track is a much more dense affair than "Ozeanische Gefühle," but it is a fitting end to the quiet sanctuary that much of this album is. It fades away into silence as a stringed instrument is plucked randomly and softly out of existence. This silence lasts only a few moments before a strange collage of bird sounds, bubble-like distortion, and phased noises lap over and into themselves. As the music flows throughout this album, as it moves away from its center and produces newer sounds and more diversity, it becomes more and more addicting. Waldron is demonstrating another side of his musical personality that had been hidden from view for too long and the resulting musical tide is mind-blowing.