Review: Modelbau – A World of Difference (Regional Bears, Jun 7)

Unlike The Invaders, the other Modelbau tape from this year I’ve heard, there isn’t nearly as much sonic permanence to be found in A World of DifferenceHere, the seasoned, prolific musique concrète master works with fleeting rhythms, reverberations, and pulses, constantly projecting new elements into the mysterious worlds he creates. It’s not impatience or indecisiveness that lurks behind these unusual choices, nor do they lead to a lack of cohesion; instead, the effect is an endlessly evolving and shifting sound construction, a jittery, surreal collage of disparate injections that keeps you on your toes. De Waard’s segmented approach manifests as music that is difficult to describe summarily because of how unpredictable and disjointed it ends up being. The two fifteen-minute sides of the tape pulls together auditory items in an episodic fashion, progressing from decaying, low fidelity synth chords and mangled radio extracts to blasts of white noise and moments of textural tactility on the first to stretches of unadulterated field recording, unusually mixed folk music loops, and some truly strange electronica on the second. Like the cover, where aggressively uniform, flat, digital graphics are superimposed upon a distorted photograph, the music on A World of Difference is a disconcerting and inexplicably intriguing hodgepodge of contradictory ingredients.

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