In 2002, Pumice's Stefan Neville was working full time as a file clerk -- a job demanding some form of mental escape, if there ever was one. And so, Neville spent nights recording solo pieces. Do Not Destroy presents material recorded between September 22 and October 4, 2002, and titled according to the date of the session. For this project, Neville turns into a one-man lo-fi band: percussion, guitar, ukulele, a pump organ, and various effects are performed simultaneously, with some occasional overdubs. Every instrument sounds pushed to its physical limits, as the VUs on the two-track reel-to-reel tape recorder he used must have been stuck to the end of the red zone. The resulting textural mesh conveys a raw feeling of liberation (and expiation, thanks to the pump organ). Pretty music this isn't, but it has undeniable power. Some of these short pieces get very close to the song format ("27 SEP 2002," for instance), but in most cases Neville stays on harsher, more abstract ground, although never completely leaving the concept of melody behind. In that, Do Not Destroy can bring to mind Loren Connors, in addition to the stranger side of experimental folk (Antony Milton, Campbell Kneale, and of course Neville's own Pumice). This album was first self-released on CD-R. Last Visible Dog reissued it in 2006.
AllMusic Review by François Couture