Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Can See Russia From Here On A Clear Day

Gates McFadden's fullest album to date has improviser/composer Joel Schrauben making a digi-romantic Glenn Branca of himself. But not via an army of guitarists; it's just Joel and a laptop - therein being dozens of delay loops and tones. You Can See Russia... is an exercise in infinite repetition; fitting in that the Palin remark appropriated is just one of a series of infinitely repeated talking points this season - repetition to the point of a loss of meaning. Fortunately for Gates McFadden, the loss of meaning here is not a descent into idiocy but one of recontextualization; where repeated tones and sounds layer upon one another building a veritable Tower of Digital Babel that comes crumbling down when Schrauben (as creator) sees fit. Schrauben achieves a unified, suspensefully ambient statement that gives credence to those who may assert that tension and resolution are overrated concepts.