Review: Clinton Green – Here? / Secret (Shame File Music, Aug 29)

Shame File creator and curator Clinton Green is far from a new name in weirdo music culture, but his formal solo efforts are a more recent development, with the record-wrack and turntable exploitation of In Situ (2015), Turntable at Dawn (2016), and Young Women of Asia (2019) alongside the hallucinatory tape-theater of Thylacine (2018) and now Here? / Secret embodying a strong praxis evolved from the previous role of simply giving a voice to new music—although, with how eclectically sourced these collages end up being, in a way he still is. This newly released two-track set makes no attempt to conceal the ugly, knobby seams and blemishes inherent to physical media and fusions or exhumations thereof; like a zealous dig through the bargain cassette bin at your local thrift store—old answering machine archives and sound effects collections and obsolete dictations and forgotten world music thrown (in)discriminately into the “yes” bag—“Here?” stitches an abstractly (yet disturbingly) coherent sequence from voices mangled to oblivion and harsh analog ephemera, while “Secret” plays with sputtering negative space, radio squawks, and sporadic bursts of raucous, chattering chaos made even more gleefully caustic by the hiss and screech of the low-fidelity playback. Moments of warm beauty also lurk quietly in the marshes of both halves, only briefly emerging when absolutely necessary to avoid wasted impact: a flutter of buzzing drone like a ray of light through the dust, a snatch of familiar innocence amidst bedlam. Lovely stuff.

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