Birchville Cat Motel

Summer's Seething Pulse

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Summer's Seething Pulse consists of three extended pieces, adding up to almost an hour in all. These were constructed, according to the sleeve, with "modified turntables, contact mics, wire, field recordings, guitar, destroyed computer speakers, radios, clarinet, oscillators, drums." It's not quite a hellish rush of white noise, but it's certainly for the most part an unnerving clash of sonic colors. "Sleep June Slope" evokes walks through subterranean chambers with thousands of stalactites vibrating as they verge on coming loose from the ceiling. The hum-drone pauses just briefly at the nine-minute mark for some minimal drum and low guitar -- the only music with even a tenuous relationship to standard rock music on the album. "Seven Paper Lanterns" backs high-pitched unsettling drones with grim-reaper chomping noises, gradually building in thickness to a crescendo, then ebbing to leave more solitary drone-howls, like a submarine slowly sinking as its electronic equipment goes haywire. "Summer's Seething Pulse," too, is like stumbling across wreckage of electronic equipment that continues its lonesome wail in spurts, long after being abandoned in a swamp. This record is not pleasant ambient music, and not for the impatient, given as it is to long stretches of subdued and discordant tones and screeches.