Review: UVC – Wisdom from the Zoo (Hologram, Aug 2)

The Miami-based Hologram label (operated by Noise Not Music favorite Chris Donaldson) has quickly become a new favorite, starting with my on-a-whim purchase of The Glass Path’s Recurring Faces Through the Spiral of Time LP, which turned out to be a very good decision. Though the pre-2019 catalog exhibits an eclectic diversity in styles and approaches, many of the recent releases have gravitated toward a more total aesthetic, with a great deal of material in the area of “pure experimental” from old and new artists alike—e.g. Comfort Link and Church Shuttle vs. Richard Vergez and Vision Board. UVC’s newest effort, Wisdom from the Zoo, is yet another example in this easily classifiable yet always elusive tradition, mining unusual emotional significance from the most mundane of sounds, from dry drags and stuffy clutter reminiscent of fellow Hologram three-letter initialism artist TVE to the alien familiarity of chopped-up text-to-speech. This is truly liminal music, seemingly gouged from the darkest, most distant corners and crevices of something much less unusual; yet this only makes its detritus even more baffling when it is gathered up and combined into something new. Things always seem to be happening of their own accord: mysterious sound events with countless moving parts whose actions are just simple enough to be accidental, hum and sonic discharge from devices mistakenly left on, remnants of humanity occasionally snaking in as whatever individuals are present steer well clear of this dark den of ambiguity.

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