Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mike Bullock - Music For Cinema (YDLMIER, 2010)

Mike Bullock - Side A

Just for the record, this is the same contrabass hero Michael T. Bullock that I've written about before. This tape was released as "Mike Bullock" but I needed to make sure that you all knew this wasn't some new Mike who coincidentally had the same last name as another Mike I'm a fan of. Anyway, he's got a new tape out on YDLMIER and it's a little less sparse free jazz noise than usual and a bit heavier on the minimal drone. Which, of course, means I love the shit out of it.

Two side long pieces, the first a live track from Virginia in 2009. It starts out hushed and delicate, barely there high end lace drones fighting for air over the tape hiss. Very subtle, very beautiful. Slowly, an additional tone gets added here and there, creating a swirling shimmer effect that's still as quiet as can be. And then, just like that, the volume gets bumped up, and some distant muted deep engine rumbles perk up, eventually pushing the bliss out of the way, replacing it with a wash of gauzy static and stuttering machinery. Absolutely fantastic.

The B side is another beast entirely, sounding like it should actually be 3 different tracks. It opens with creaking & quaking, far away echos of heavy things being dragged across concrete floors, coupled with taps on the mic that makes me think it must be a field recording. Whistling wind and whispering moans fill the empty space for a bit until the organ comes in. God how I love organs. Bullock makes it somber & mournful, abrasive & gritty, at times the perfect foundation for a wall of harsh noise but never going that route, instead exploring its textures & letting it play with various bizarre companions.

Then something that can only be described as air scribbling comes in. I really have no idea what it is, how it's made, or even what to say about it. It just sounds fucking awesome.

The last few minutes are spent on a glitchy soundscape that I believe is crafted from "CD damage." Spacey static, scratching chaos, sonar blips, nothing I would ever expect to come from Bullock. But yet, here it is. Guy always catches me off guard. Like the closing moments with sounds of cicadas and an acoustic guitar loop. There's no WAY anyone saw that coming. And if you did, then go away because we can't be friends anymore.

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