Review: Ego Depletion – Eeeeeeg Synfffff Derpzzzzz (self-released, Feb 4)

My first encounter with Fritz Welch occurred thanks to Autofahrt, his recent cassette with Mark Vernon as Trouble Tracer. I immediately fell in love with that album’s abrasive whimsicality, produced through a uniquely deconstructive approach to abstract vocal improvisation, and Eeeeeeg Synfffff Derpzzzzz, Welch’s newest release (as part of Ego Depletion, together with Adam Campbell) was thankfully no different in its instantaneous appeal. While the highly gestural, granular textures at play on this short suite were likely produced with modular synthesizers, I’m not sure how much significance the album’s title has in regard to its methodology; was EEG (converting brain waves to audible sounds) used, or is “Eeeeeeg” just the sound of relief that the two noise-wranglers’ neighbors made when they finally finished recording these tracks? I have absolutely no idea, but I’m content to sit in ignorance and be assailed by writhing tendrils of caustic cracked-electronic rasp like the bubble of burning flesh, overblown drum set freakouts, waves of dizzyingly high-pitched feedback, and assorted acousmatic witchcraft. “Ehhh” nails that elusive atmosphere of not-quite-organic, not-quite digital, its wet wire-tentacle slaps and insectoid dissections making it one of the most memorable tracks, while “Orrrrrp” closes things out with a volatile smash-‘n-glitch opus that rivals the best of Sissy Spacek.

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