Review: VEIDRIK – HAZARDAJ (Amateur Electronics, Apr 13)

We’ve all messed around with Audacity or whatever other starter DAW we could get our hands on and loaded raw image data as a sound stem for some chaotic computer-noise action, but it’s a lot more difficult than one would think to make those unpredictable slabs into music that’s actually worth listening to, even for those with as shockingly inclusive of a definition for music as most of you most likely have. Enter VEIDRIK, a Chicago-based project whose materials are sourced entirely from photography taken previously by the artist, mercilessly converted, assimilated, reshaped, malformed—whatever you want to call it—into sharp, spiky, complex arrays of dissonant frequencies and impossible textures. Despite the passive, indeterminate nature of this most significant aspect of VEIDRIK’s artistic process, the final results are quite the opposite; the eight concise tracks that comprise HAZARDAJ are as confrontational and exhilarating as the most energetic tabletop-harsh, soaring and piercing and painful and gestural—plenty of pointers taken from Hasegawa and friends. Complementary layers are meticulously arranged to create an immersive stereo listening experience; the artist recommends headphones, but I imagine this tape would sound just as great through a nice set of appropriately placed speakers, provided no pesky neighbors or skittish pets are around to discourage maximum volume settings.