John Duncan's release Incoming continues his work exploring the inner qualities of electronic drones in conjunction with shortwave radio, itself an extension of his work in pirate media, including both radio and television. The title track builds from metallic scrapes, layered with intense electronics, garbled vocals, descending electronic whines reminiscent of the final section of Karlheinz Stockhausen's masterpiece Hymnen, shortwaves, white noise, and digital pops. It is one of Duncan's first pieces that uses the computer, and Duncan is assisted by Max Springer, who also worked with him on the 1996 collaborative release The Crackling. "Flare" is a short loop exercise of vocal samples over a high-pitched shortwave background. "Voice Field" is quieter, a resonant drone that is often ambient in quality, except for the mysterious found sounds that lurk just beneath the surface and the growing intensity of the piece. "Ceremony" makes much more use of found sounds, including crowd noises and animal cries, all over a metallic drone, but transitions to quiet insect sounds at the end. "Pass" is a series of intersecting oscillating drones alternating with slabs of electronic sounds, the most electronic piece on the disc. Duncan's later work tends more to longer forms, so some listeners may find that the short pieces on this disc provide more variety and therefore more approachability. The two long pieces here, "Incoming" and "Voice Field," are excellent examples of Duncan's work, and the tendencies of these two pieces are continued through his later releases such as River in Flames and the more electronic parts of Klaar.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Caleb Deupree
feat: Max Springer