Pimmon | Assembler
Fällt | CD + MP3 + SimpleTextAudio™ + Graphic Scores
Paul Gough (aka Pimmon) has been making waves these past twelve months; he says he is "addicted to sound manipulation" and it clearly shows. His early proto-ambient loops on, for example, 'Vovul II' (Static Caravan, 7") and 'Gleznot' (A Posteriori, 8") have since been overtaken and overturned by the anarchic digital cut-up fun of 'Top40Fodder' (fals.ch, MP3) and further refined in the industrial/melodic sound-worlds of 'Kinetica' (K-RAA-K3, CD).
'Assembler', his third full-length CD, is accompanied by: 10 x 60 second MP3s; 60 x 01 second SimpleTextAudio files (in collaboration with Japanese media artist Otaku Yakuza); and 'graphic scores' (by Fällt's Fehler). All are available for end-user 'assembly' from the Fällt web site and, although each part merits individual attention, for brevity's sake only the CD is considered further here. Suffice to say that the components fit together cleanly and that a clear thread runs through audio and visual.
The CD, opens with '%macro.prologue', a torture chamber in miniature which unleashes a swarm of angry hornets on the unwary listener before splattering great gobs of digital effluent across the stereo plane, finally inflicting the auditory equivalent of a brilliant strobe at painfully close quarters. "Just another exercise in digital pyrotechnics?" Thankfully, no. Despite the hard edges (and, be assured, many do follow) 'Assembler' soon reveals something a little more melodic at its centre. Many of the tracks are marked by their use of buried melody, subtle peripheral activity and underlying drones. In 'random n' dust devils whip up loose earth close at hand but distant chimes suggest that, although a storm may be brewing, there may yet be some clemency. 'Repeat', on the other hand, begs to be turned up loud. It's shuddering form suggests the blue/black anvil of an imminent storm front, one which rages with considerable ferocity for some minutes until, a spent force, it plays out on a looping refrain.
The final track '%macro.end' is something of a contrast to its immediate predecessors; totally unexpected, it is beautiful, elegiac and quite breathtaking. Suggestive of a wounded animal crying out in final death throes or in mourning it is a timely reminder of our own mortality.
'Assembler', like 'Kinetica' before it, exhibits tremendous attention to detail but never at the expense of emotional engagement. For its obvious use of digital technology it might draw easy comparisons with, say, Pita or Christian Fennesz; however Pimmon, like the others, has his own artistic signature - in his case warm and emotional - and on the strength of this and his previous work, one worth attending to.