Review: Network Glass – Idiot/Smiling (dingn\dents, Feb 16)

Pretty much everything about Idiot/Smiling is enigmatic, from the mysterious screenshot that adorns the cover to the unique mixture of digital and analog sound sources plundered to construct each track. Network Glass, one of the many aliases of artist Daniel La Porte, never even approaches the possibility of a limited or constrained palette, instead fusing together disarming, unholy amalgams of aggressive raw data textures, field recordings, and effects. The scattered, schizophrenic approach to composition works well for these short pieces, which are given a fitting introduction by the cut-up madness of “ocvbs.” La Porte explores the wide range of timbres and aesthetics of his crackling rivers of computerized noise on the album’s longest piece, “nrrrrrr,” whose growling low end and sheeny glitch wails form an overwhelming and intense soundscape. Beginning with “sm,” more organic elements begin to creep in, with the unmistakable wumping of wind against a microphone making brief appearances, and “novh1” takes it even further by basing its surreal, synthetic collages around a largely unmanipulated recording of cars racing through a tunnel. The true subliminity of Idiot/Smiling arises from its marriage of the natural and the manufactured, which, as the artifact-like textures of the wind captured in “ocsk,” are not as drastically different as we might think.