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Lugubrious Review

by Jason Nickey

O-Type is the legendary art punk band MX-80 sans vocalist -- that is, guitarist Bruce Anderson, percussionists Mark Weinstein and Dave Mahoney, and Dale Sophiea, who uses a sampler and mixer to shape the sonic emanations produced by the other three. The result on Lugubrious is deep, deep listening that works best at either extremely high or extremely low volumes. Glitch culture and early minimalism clearly influenced the proceedings heavily, but Anderson's characteristically searing guitar work is still very much a factor. On "Gate," it's as if he's playing at the other end of an abandoned steel factory, his guitar only occasionally rising above the creaks of the crumbling machinery and the sound of a nearby highway. But on "Clearing" it's as if the group has invented a new kind of abstract funk, Anderson's wah-wah guitar leaping in and out of a pitter-patter digital beat and a looming drone. The album is quite a departure from early MX-80, but anyone acquainted with the group's latter musings will see the connection with Lugubrious, though it is still far more ambient and with the concept of "song" nearly erased.

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