Review: Jamison Williams – Silly Symphonies, Vol. 1 (Lurker Bias, Jan 21)

Silly Symphonies, Vol. 1 is one of those albums that can be succinctly and accurately summed up in just a few words—”solo game calls”—but that also far surpass such modest, concrete origins. The two sides of this short C12 are filled with the sparsely arranged sounds of synthetic bird chirps, smashed squeaky toys, and general piercing misuse, an freakish orchestra of real-time processed utterance. There’s no ambiguity in regards to where these sonorities originate, but that doesn’t make the experience of Silly Symphonies any less uncanny; as humans we are constantly projecting our qualities onto not just each other, but anything we happen to encounter, even things that couldn’t be more different from us. We hear the whines and cries of petulant infants in Williams’ duck calls, shrieks of anguish in whatever the hell is making the sound at the end of “Part One” (this track was featured on my Past Vocalisms mix, and, despite being produced using an external device, reminds me of the harrowing abstractions of Ami Yoshida), yet it’s all smothered by an impenetrable layer of artificiality that throws our perception well and truly out of whack. Williams’ approach works well for such a short release, but honestly I could listen to this bizarre shit all day, so it’s great to see that “Vol. 1” subheading.

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