Review: Audiosmogg – Home Office Ambience (Bleeding Ear, Nov 24)

Everyone’s favorite microphone magician and landscape perforator Audiosmogg returns for a second album with Home Office Ambience. Don’t let the title fool you; expect some sort of corporate/domestic ennui-scape a la The Wig and you’ll be left flat on your ass. The unusual release is more of an abstract exclamation from the pit of social lockdown than any accurate portrayal of Márty’s daily routine (although I’d bet it’s not too far off). “Transmission” immediately sets the cells on edge with teeth-on-tinfoil feedback noise (ironically, there’s a cover of legendary Boredoms opening track “TV Ramones” at the end of Home Office Ambience, whose minimal but quite conspicuous entrance is nonetheless echoed by its actual opener), “We’ve Only Just Begun” crafts a deliriously anachronistic radio play with pandemic-era news samples and grabs from the original broadcast of War of the Worlds, “Meaningful Pause” sounds like the inside of the bird room at a zoo, and “Time to Get Ill” remains low-profile with a tremoring chorus of appliance clatter and minuscule mechanisms—yeah, and those are just the first four tracks. Through all that we still remain somewhat centered in the “home,” however; it’s just that things we already see and think about here are magnified into intriguing unfamiliarity. Distracted, pressing an ear to the exposed window screen to get a closer listen of the storm; those dissociative moments when you pay too much attention to your own breathing our stare at your fingers while typing; et cetera et cetera. More of an optimistic and eclectic take on quarantine isolation than my Cooped Up mix, but no less bizarre and unpredictable.