Review: Arek Gulbenkoglu – fissure, fissure, fissure (self-released, Jul 26)

As is often the case, I’d be remiss if I didn’t introduce this new disc from idiosyncratic Australian sound artist Arek Gulbenkoglu by quoting his own description of the work: “fissure, fissure, fissure is a 37 minute piece documenting various failures in language and extrapolations of voice; machines that whir, slap and clap; and in-jokes that don’t go anywhere.” Like last year’s Lexicon Nil—this one I still haven’t heard… if anyone’s selling a copy please hit me up—it’s self-released and comprises a single track (and is mastered by the prolific Giuseppe Ielasi), but the composition shares plenty with other entries in Gulbenkoglu’s discography as well, featuring the unpredictable segmentation and artful monotony previously explored on ReoccurrencecDDe, etc. Here, however, these points of interest are magnified to new levels of extremity. Indeed, part of what makes all of the artist’s material so beguiling is that it’s full of paradoxes, that words like “extremity” are often just as applicable as ones like “banality”; and fissure, fissure, fissure, perhaps more so than anything preceding it, is both apathetic and devout, bizarre and familiar, abstract and concrete. There are unaccompanied machinations, clandestine field recordings, text-to-speech jargon, tape-driven deconstructions, and more, but each and every episode is driven (ironically) by a somehow sanguine inertness. To be more concise: it certainly goes nowhere, but it takes its sweet, captivating time getting there.

The links here lead to the Shame File (AUS) website, but copies have already also made it to Penultimate Press (UK) and Derek Baron (US).

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