AGF | Head Slash Bauch

Orthlorng Musork | CD

23 shortform files by Antje Greie-Fuchs, 'Head Slash Bauch' is a shadow of 'Filesharing' the latest multi-format (online/offline) release by German duo Laub, of which Greie-Fuchs is one half. Both releases develop and explore similar themes and their common basis is evident, yet 'Head Slash Bauch' extends into somewhat darker territories.

AGF's lyrics - if they can be called lyrics - are a seamless amalgamation of texts and code, spoken gently over an incessant chatter of machine noise and ever-present hiss. A peculiarly post-twentieth century polyglot, Greie-Fuchs puts the idiosyncratic lyrics down to a recent period of near constant immersion in computer manuals and code.

The results certainly reflect this - a stream-of-artificial-intelligence sentences unravelling - unusual, but never sounding forced: "BODY... BGCOLOR = RED... SLASH = GREEN... BLOCKQUOTE... BLOCKQUOTE..."

Throughout, AGF's breathy vocals reverberate under static and the ever-present flow of data. 'Implus' buzzes to a simple looped refrain before cascading into the distended loops of 'Suba +++' and 'Shumine'. Tracks collide seamlessly, the sounds of compiler errors and buffer underruns, skips and pauses... with the CD reaching a momentary crescendo at 'Mandeln', whose precise phrases slip over each other falling in and out of phase before crashing again into digital imperfection.

And perhaps this is the point - that so-called hard data, black and white, is inescapably imprecise, grey - and that hidden amongst the thousands and thousands of lines of code that surround us are inevitable flaws in which lie a certain, undeniable appeal.


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