Bruce Anderson is best known as guitarist for post-punk legends MX-80 Sound and offshoot O-Type. In the '70s and through to the '90s, Anderson and cohorts coined and defined the "new edge" sound. Over a series of arresting albums and singles, they built a discography that ranks the obscure group alongside Chrome in the stakes for most overlooked and influential American underground act. Anderson is joined by fellow MX-80 Sound alumni Dave Mahoney, as well as Dale Sophiea, Jim Hrabetin, and Marc Weinstein on this work, which is a continuation on the theme of his 1995 Atavistic album, Brutality. Using treated electric guitar, percussion, and studio techniques, the resulting music is a stunning foray into avant-garde rock and minimalism. In part, it recalls Steve Reich's "Phase Patterns" and Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies, though the overall ethos is distinctively post-punk fueled. Placing Balkana in a similar vein as Tortoise, Rafael Toral, or Jim O'Rourke's experiments with static guitar noise would not be a mistake, though it could be said that MX-80 Sound is the grandfather to these avant-garde rock experiments. Bruce Anderson is no stranger to the refined noise collage and, as displayed on this album, he creates dense clouds of harmonics with looping guitar patterns that are simultaneously bleak and psychedelic.
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AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane
feat: Dale Sophiea