Voafose - Voafose
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Jeremy Simmons has been creating and releasing music for well over twenty years now, but to date has never put out a solo album. He's collaborated with Luke Vibert, Aphex Twin, Boymerang, Florian Hecker, and remixed and produced a slew of other artists. Voafose is his debut album under the same name, though, and it's a completely bizarre trip through dark ambient explorations, tape noodling, voice manipulations, and loads of old-school analogue electronics. The resulting album is a schizophrenic twenty tracks of sound that runs just over fifty minutes and will leave you feeling like you just took a bad bender.

The tracks on the release are pretty much split into three different categories, and there seems to not be much rhyme or reason paid to their placement. The first batch of tracks (and probably the best) are the queasy analogue ambient tracks. These tracks usually have a bit more of a focus, and show off some truly unique sound moments from Simmons. "Quard" finds some wordless filtered vocals swimming around behind cold, sterile key drones and blips, while "Threpton" is all forced squiggles of analogue noise that blur together along with a fine haze. Over the course of over seven minutes, the piece gets downright uneasy. "Ism-ist" is another extended workout, with blipping, eerie electronics sounding like they're being transmitted in from outer space.

The second batch of tracks (again, appearing at rather odd intervals throughout the release) are more musique-concrete tracks of super repetitive loops and drones. "Cassette" is just under two minutes of layered feedback drones and "Taptics" gets even more mechanical and found sound, with a throbbing mechanical sound that plays out over the top of a sample of water dripping.

The final batch (and least interesting, after the first couple) are the audio-tape manipulations of both voice and music. "Glarrod’s End" is a minute-long chunk of severely-damaged and pitch-destroyed orchestral music that ends just as it seems to be getting going. "Weather Soc., " "Maybe A Garden," and "Big Ben" (along with at least six other pieces) all do similar manipulations on vocal tracks, speeding up and slowing down the pieces while delaying chunks, chopping them apart, strobing the sound, etc. Some of the effects are definitely interesting, but it gets to be a bit much, considering the short running length of the release. If you're a huge fan of Simmons/Voafose, or enjoy hearing some good examples of somewhat old school audio manipulation techniques, there's some fun to be had here, but otherwise this one is just far too inconsistent.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2007-01-04 21:08:24