Illusion of Safety

Time Remaining

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Time Remaining ranks among Dan Burke's darker, most experimental works, taking him much closer to latter-day Hafler Trio or David Jackman than to the industrial crowd he once was a part of. Seven of the eight pieces crackle, snap, and glitch in the quieter end of the dynamic spectrum, with much action happening in the sub-bass register. Time Remaining growls and rumbles, menacing your speakers more than your ears -- the back cover sports an "extreme caution" warning for your headphones or speakers, but that's a bit exaggerated. You are safe if you listen at average volume. What the album gains in technical fascination, it loses in atmosphere. The music sounds colder, detached, and less involving from a listener's standpoint, although tracks like "Identical Difference" and "Beyond Exactly" develop the kind of momentum required from a deep drone to grab you by the insides. On the other hand, the clicking high-pitched tones of "Clock Dominant," as esthetically sound as they may be, are too faceless to strike. It could be Ken Ikeda or Carsten Nicolai instead of Burke and you wouldn't hear the difference -- that it is until the last 30 seconds when a very low drone suddenly rises and a portal to the underworld is torn open, leading to the closing "Game Over," the only harsh track of the album (and quite efficient for that matter). Time Remaining offers an interesting continuous listen and the stylish artwork (a Keiji Haino-esque black-on-black design) provides added value, but it is not Burke's best effort.

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