Robert Merdzo


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This is the second solo album for professional sound designer Robert Merdzo, allegedly recorded in just 17 days. Such claims may be made boastfully, but in reality, it shines a light on the incompleteness that plagues this record. Minimal soundscapes alternate with arpeggiated "dolphin" techno that fails to stir emotion as much as it intends. Equally failing is the incorporation of live instrumentation into the sonic stew. On occasion, such as "Tokio Insert 2," the use of plucked piano strings moves the music forward, but on "Balanced," ceaseless guitar strumming becomes little more than a poor post-rock experiment. Worse is the proto-industrial riffage on "Take a Sunday Ride" that sounds little better than a basement goth band's first demo. All of which is unfortunate, since the album starts off well. "Em.Es.Ten" is a pleasing ambient work that contrasts precise chime loops with erratic bass and piccolo synth, while "These Are My Intentions" is a fun, if somewhat derivative, vibraphone shuffle. But Wide/Out cannot maintain any sense of continuity or quality control. Perhaps more could have been done in 17 weeks.

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