Review: Retribution Body – Self Destruction (Glistening Examples, Aug 8)

Glistening Examples is one the only labels from whom, on a consistent basis, I invariably buy music, and I haven’t regretted this behavior a single time. Unsurprisingly, this is also the case for the new CD from Boston musician Matt Azevedo, also known as Retribution Body. Self Destruction is a minimal but punishing album of low frequency drones and electronics, with a bottom register so prominent that it penetrated my cheap Panasonic earbuds before I realized that I had better listen on speakers. Much like the cover art, the disc is shrouded in inky darkness, with very brief moments of color and light that emerge; it’s almost like we’re listening to much brighter music through a wall of cotton and stone. Actually, that’s an awful analogy because it implies some sort of distance. Self Destruction resides almost too close for comfort, rattling around in your skull with merciless force. The ending of “Self” is disarmingly physical, as all of the layers built up throughout the track are pulled away and the remaining bass, barely audible but vibrating every object in the room, folds in on itself, taking your brain with it. And this is all just the standard version; Azevedo independently released a low frequency edition, for which he states “on most speakers, no audible sound will be produced.” I don’t think I have the kind of woof power to do that idea justice, so the audible version will be just fine for now.