Review: Andrew Coltrane – Self-Amputation (Oxidation, May 1)

Though Detroit mainstay Andrew Coltrane has previously dabbled in the level of prolificacy often associated with noise artists—from 2008 to 2010, among other activities, he produced and distributed more than two hundred tapes of his own work on his homemade imprint Hermitage—he hasn’t put anything out under his own name since 2016, which makes Self-Amputation a bit of an event. True to form, however, nothing about the release suggests such significance; from the banal gruesomeness of the cover to the cheap equipment used in the recording, this is a no-frills noise affair, soft and longform enough to rumble in the background yet crafted to a level that rewards active listening. I’m not sure whether both cuts are a single take split in two or distinct sessions, but either way they both feel like the culmination of so many different techniques—that is to say, only someone who’s been in the game for this long could track this eclectic tabletop array (ARP synth, tapes, contact mic, sine waves, tape delay, drum machine) to a shoebox and make it sound so lush. There’s a really nice, almost cozy improvisational fluidity to even the most passive crumble, and I can foresee myself putting this tape in for many morning coffees to come.