Brutum Fulmen

Flesh of the Moon

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This first full-length offering from Brutum Fulmen (aka sound artist Jeff Wrench, who also contributed a fine track, "Dusk," to the Intransitive compilation album Various) is billed unashamedly on the CD tray as musique concrète, but in case that appellation gives the impression that the album is looking back nostalgically to the early studies of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry, it's worth noting that Wrench also sources DAT recordings of his live performances and, on "Mourn," transforms computer data into audio files. He lists his analog sound sources, which include, amongst other things, plastic forks, campfires doused with water, vacuum-tube amp feedback, and especially an old manual typewriter (a beautiful photograph of which adorns the disc itself), but it requires a leap of imagination on the listener's part to figure out how their sounds were transformed into the shimmering, rich sound sculptures on offer here. "Spore" uses heavily scratched vinyl (sent through the mail without an envelope) as a sound source, but if listeners weren't informed of the fact it would be frankly impossible to identify the sounds as such. It's all too easy in the domain of sound art to come up with interesting concepts that sound nondescript when realized, but thankfully Wrench doesn't fall into the trap: these nine pieces are all painstakingly crafted and beautifully accomplished compositions in their own right. Be sure to listen for the Elvis quote in the final track.

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