Andrew Duke

More Destructive Than Organized

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Completed in 2002 and released early in 2003, this short album rounds up a trilogy started with Ashes and Ceremony (1994) and continued in Physical and Mental Health (2002). In it, Andrew Duke moves far away from the minimal techno of Sprung to delve into rhythmless sound art of an unsuspected power. The series was first inspired by a reaction to consumerism and later evolved into a reflection on the physical and mental stress and illness brought on by war. More Destructive Than Organized revisits material from the other two albums, pushing it deeper into war territory. The low booms and rumbles in "One" (downright frightening if your sound system is equipped with a sub-woofer) will make you understand how unnerving a deluge of bombs can be for local inhabitants. The track also includes sounds that seem to be derived from helicopters, airplanes, and sirens. Then again, the sound sources may not be war-related at all, but Duke sure leads listeners' imaginations into thinking they are. Gripping, the piece stands somewhere between a fantasized audio documentary and a plea. Among its layers of digitally altered sounds, "Threetwo" pairs a fragile piano melody with military communications and a mourning trumpet call to great effect. The exact duration of the three pieces (six, six, and 24 minutes flat) seems too architecturally sound (a ratio of 1:1:4) to be the result of a coincidence, but Duke's motivations remain secret. This album came out before the U.S. war against Iraq was launched, but at a time when it was easily foreseeable. Let it be clear that Duke is not turning war into a work of art. There is hardly anything beautiful about this album, but its intensity and provocation are through the roof.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 6:00
2 6:00
blue highlight denotes track pick