Robin Fox / Anthony Pateras

Coagulate

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AllMusic Review by

Anthony Pateras and Robin Fox present themselves as an electro-acoustic improvisation duo. Although descriptive of a process (amplified instruments and objects whose sounds are electronically treated in real-time), the expression is more commonly used to designate minute sonic explorations (think of Günter Müller, Otomo Yoshihide, Burkhard Beins, or Andrea Neumann). So it may be a shock to hear that the music on Coagulate is blatantly maximalist: loud, occasionally harsh, very in-your-face and occasionally quite entertaining. Take for instance the first piece, "Vox Erratum." A voice-based improvisation, it spits and gargles at incredible speed, feeling like one of John Oswald's plunderphonics or vintage cut-and-paste Ground Zero. "44 Degree Splinter" is more delicate but still ferocious; it is built around a discarded piano frame. Knocks on the harmonic table transform into a thunderstorm as electronic sounds bounce off one another. "Consumption" could be a cinematic journey inside the digestive tract, swallowing sounds meeting with digital enzymes. "Circuits & Glass" is all electrical buzzes and discharges, amounting to Merzbow-like noise interrupted by not-so-silent silence. The only time the duo tones it down is for the concluding 14-minute "Recombinant," a beautiful if not very original study in delicately controlled feedbacking tones. This austere finale contrasts sharply with the bombast of the previous pieces, but it works out nicely.

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