Review: Enterfant – Publick Restroom Performances (self-released, Aug 26)

The “music” that comprises Publick Restroom Performances is, essentially, exactly what one would expect. Departing from artist Arek Orosz’s predilections for harsh noise and power electronics on much of his Enterfant material, the short digital-only release collects two recordings captured in February of 2017 that feature Orosz performing solo as an environmental instigator. The sparse clatters of paper towel and toilet tissue dispensers being used or struck, the hissing rushes of commercial sink faucets, the distinctive canned echo that one immediately recognizes—with his reticent contributions and interactions, Orosz pays humble homage to the innocuous yet mysterious energy that lurks in empty public bathrooms, something I’m sure most, if not all of us have observed during various moments of temporary, inexplicably poignant isolation in these ubiquitous facilities. The first piece, recorded on February 18th, builds itself on the fullness of the spacial spread of reverberating musical segments that sound like something between empty elevator music and alien-abduction electronica, sparse guitar noodling and piano notes filling every inch of the linoleum corners as other familiar sounds—such as brief conversations, flushing toilets, what is probably something clanging against those assistive metal bars in wheelchair-accessible stalls—flesh things out. There are even more curiosities in the February 20th piece, which concludes with the playback of several jarringly out-of-place musical loops (culminating with the Mortal Kombat theme) before the biggest surprise of them all: there’s actually an audience in this bathroom! And they were quiet and appreciative the whole time!