Sam Dellaria

Fold Your Arms and the World Will Stop

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Three years after the disappointing 64 Squares, Sam Dellaria and Adam Sonderberg offered the fuller, more dynamic Fold Your Arms and the World Will Stop. Released in the Greek label Absurd's originally-packaged series Research Center for the Definition of Happiness, this set features a single continuous 42-minute piece. Credits are limited to "composed, performed and assembled" by the two artists, which emphasizes the key role of the computer in the music, but a guitar, and maybe a synthesizer or a tone generator might also be featured. Quiet for the most part, Fold Your Arms and the World Will Stop is nevertheless busier than drone-based music. Beyond the backbone textures of treated tones, there are several layers of glitches, chords, electrical buzzing and miscellaneous treated sounds coming in and getting out, producing an eventful yet very cohesive soundscape. There is a calmer, slightly overlong passage about halfway into the piece, as if both artists were taking a bit too much time to contemplate their next move. Otherwise, this is a strong piece, closer in spirit to the duo's debut CD Signal Hill and, in style, to Efzeg, Minit, Coelacanth or even Oren Ambarchi. The last ten minutes grow insistent and slightly oppressive -- tension-building without release. This album might very well be the duo's finest hour, just before they recorded the extremely limited CD-ROM As I Opened Fire with Brendan Walls and eventually formed the Dropp Ensemble.