Review: Springboard – Midwest Radiator Sessions (Structures Without Purpose, May 28)

a3500914549_10Midwest Radiator Sessions marks Chicago musician Joe Cavaliere’s 25th release as Springboard, and yet the vast majority of his work does not get anywhere near the amount of recognition it deserves, which is why I don’t mind writing this even after covering “The Coward” a few months ago. In almost direct contrast to that album’s eclectic array of disparate sound sources and hyperactive, impatient pacing, this new tape from Structures Without Purpose is an entrancing series of moody, grime-smeared industrial phantasmagorias. Even behind the fuliginous curtains that shroud most of the pieces, Midwest Radiator Sessions often seems to be above all else a search for textural sublimity within that which is stubbornly unmusical in its pragmatism—something it achieves quite frequently, whether it’s the pestilential ambience like a squelching symphony of microscopic decomposers on “Rustler” or the humming mechanical monotony of the following “Boiler.” Much of the lumbering assemblages end up somewhere between the material-detail experiments of Small Cruel Party and the indiscriminate manual chaos of classic Haters, both beautiful and crude in an entirely unassuming, almost completely neutral manner. The sluggish “Conductor” offers a change of pace in the form some good ol’ melted-junk noise that sounds like it was extracted from tape buried under ten feet of earth, and “Dweller” wraps things up with a mildewy whirl of gouged frequencies and hisses of decay. By the end I’m not sure whether I want to go urban exploring or curl up in a dark corner.