Review: Joe Coghill – Conrad Snae (Czaszka, Apr 6)

I know Joe Coghill from his enigmatic project Free Magic Show, which also includes Czaszka operator Michał Fundowicz, but Conrad Snae is a completely different beast. The dense, unclassifiable pieces that occupy this modestly sized C22 have that air about them—you know, where it seems like there’s some hidden meaning or aspect that makes them so compelling but it’s impossible to find or isolate. Bestial screams, churning digital chaos, and molten rhythm-semblances stuff the A side, both “Disregard” and “Hasha” adopting an under-the-microscope type approach that makes me think of projects with similarly “scientific” lenses, like Jazkamer. The latter track whips and writhes in a stylistic no-man’s-land between the weirder, more abstract outskirts of beat-heavy club music and the biting artificial tornadoes of pure data composition, forming a hypnotic, pulsing throb both difficult and danceable. The title track, which occupies the entirety of side B, unfolds like bargain-bin noise cobbled together from materials found in the electronics section of a secondhand shop, still as distinctly synthetic as the preceding pieces yet also confusingly organic, like the queasy burbles of an empty stomach or subterranean gases bubbling in the waters of a murky swamp. Only Coghill could make computer castoffs this smelly.