Review: Zherbin – Comfort (self-released, Nov 8)

The sounds from which Comfort is constructed all come from “everyday objects,” but the stuttering, stabbing rhythms Dmitri Zherbin (who adopts the percussive brevity of his surname for musical endeavors) coaxes from these innocuous items using ear-piercing distortion and shuddering tape loop layering are anything but everyday. The first few tracks glue together haphazard bits of restless clatter, each of the elements repeating on their own cycle like clockwork, and all together the result is rumbling cacophony made even more chaotic by the little bits of order it’s made up of. “Tshts” takes things in a bit of a different direction, ramping up the density to create a seething, stormy mass of wreckage. As with almost all of Comfort it’s still quite harsh, but “Tshts” is beautiful in a way not so much like the visceral catharsis of blasting feedback/effect noise but more in a Modern Jester sort of way, where a deafening mass of tape racket overpowers and immerses but all of its shifting parts can be observed, letting you appreciate its formation, how the scuzzy, scattered scraps of detritus and wrack are pulled together into that sublime maelstrom. Comfort is comprised of just 12 short tracks, each digestible miniatures that nonetheless feel fully developed and wondrously lush. Past “Tshts” we wade through churning gears and machinery, harrowing howls of reverb-coated sonorities, aquatic bubbles and churns, and the punishing static-plagued explosion of “Tshsh.” Zherbin’s newest release is imaginative, concise, and raucous when it needs to be.

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