Digital Terrestrial

Aural Illusions

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This LP by Richard H. Kirk (ex-Cabaret Voltaire) is simply mad. The track split between the two sides is made of tiny unlocked lock grooves. Digital Terrestrial (his moniker for this project) used everything, from ultra-minimal techno glitches to commercial dance vamps, sampling everything, brutally piecing together these micro grooves. If everything goes according to plan, you'll hear a work of 38 minutes made of a succession of mind-numbing digital beats that just keep on stumbling out of your speakers. Sometimes they stick around a few seconds before they mutate into another avatar. Having tested the LP on three turntables with different results each time, it can be said that things may get messy if you happen to have a faulty or ill-calibrated turntable: the needle sticks, the groove repeats, and it can take a few minutes before you realize you are now out of the piece. The clear vinyl packaged in a clear plastic sleeve seems to enhance the transparency of the music. There is actually nothing there, only glimpses of beats. And yet, as annoying as it can be, this "Deconstructed Trance Anthem" can fascinate -- and bring forward questions on the rigid glitch aesthetic. Not quite a record, not quite a work of art by itself, Aural Illusions (the title says it all, doesn't it?) makes for one disconcerting, uncomfortable item.

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