Review: Filter Body – Filter Body 2 (218, Sep 13)

What is a podcast? It doesn’t seem like too elusive of a classification, but even if hard pressed I’m not sure what definition I would give; for me, at least, it seems easier to simply determine what is or isn’t a podcast. And, despite it being tagged as such on Bandcamp—even offering the playback-speed change option exclusive to “non-musical” content—I imagine most podcast listeners would deny Filter Body’s claim. Though the spoken elements (conveyed close to the microphone with breathy, mouth sound–filled intimacy) are certainly among its most conspicuous ingredients, the majority of “Cactus Hotel,” the sole track that comprises the duo of Patrick Totally and Agate Flow’s sophomore release, is entirely without words and speech. There are warbling synthesizers, snatches of quotidian field recordings, agile glitch contortions, endorsements, broken beats, and many other abstractions framing the central narrative of the speaker’s specific memory, so much so to the point that they surpass being a “frame” and instead have clawed their way onto equal footing with actual intelligible language: and so, sure, “podcast” it is. Another salient feature is the squeaking dog toy that occupies much of the piece’s duration, ironically one of the most stable currents threaded throughout, as many of the others are constantly marred by jarring cuts and comminglings. Narratively, it makes little sense as a whole, but if you know me at all you can probably guess that’s what I love about it, because that “little” bit is impossibly fulfilling and addictive.

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