issue 12 :: July 2007

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REVIEW: Glen Weyant

"Seven Transharmonic Explorations in Multitonal Omnivibrationalism: Volume Six" CD [SonicAnta]

reviewed by Josh Ronsen

Cheap recording and CD production have lead to a culture of Release Everything. Given the fact that graphic design skills have exceeded musical skills, used record bins are now filled with so much crap, it has been not worthwhile to take a risk on an unknown artist. Especially considering how little information and liner notes are generally included. Close minded? I am a busy man. Put some information on a CD cover that will interest me. A CD cover like this record. Obviously from the title, description and listing of multiple instruments per piece, including the unique Kestrel 920 (a “sound transmogrifer”), this was no typical release in the Sound Exchange used bin. It couldn’t be as interesting and unique as the lo-tech packaging suggested, could it? The bizarre titles, the artwork cribbed from scientific diagrams, 19th Century giant squid engravings, acid freak out drawings? The record is surprisingly as interesting as it seems.
Weyant adeptness in layering different slices of musical textures creates coherent and strange wholes. I assume he is the only performer of the four to six instruments used on each track, from prepared piano and guitar, to clarinet and saxophones, to small percussion, to washing machines and sinks. The previously mentioned invented instrument whose description (“...a segment of found lumber that has been hollowed to create a resonation chamber for the placement of a contact microphone...”) brings to mind the work of Hal Rammel, whom I was lucky enough to witness before I left Chicago. The pieces, usually over ten minutes in length, cloud themselves in hypnotic soundscapes of drones, alienated melodies, tiny scraping noises and electronic processing. The various layers of noises fit together as if played by an ensemble and not one person, save for the saxophones on “Snug in Acid Washed Genes,” and “In the Sea of Key,” where they clash with the background noises as if randomly overdubbed.
After finding this record, subsequent research revealed Weyant has achieved some level of notoriety from sound projects utilizing the illegal immigrant wall between Mexico and Weyant’s home state of Arizona.
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Josh Ronsen
joshronsen (ate) yahoo (dote) com
2001 Brentwood
Austin, Texas 78757 USA