Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kevin Drumm: Trouble

Kevin Drumm readies his "quietest" album yet, Trouble
Kevin Drumm has shifted between the extremes of possessed reptile noise classics like "Land of Lurches" and the accidentally amazing graveyard ambient fogginess of "Imperial Distortion", exploring harsh noise, droniness and shipwreck confusion on other releases in-between. This year Drumm served up mixer scrape feedback and rabid bird caws on "Wrong Intersection", but more interestingly also offered "Trouble", a nearly hour-long single track album mastered so quietly it's barely there. Seriously, turn the car stereo, computer, ipod, discman, etc all the way up and the long stretches of mist-thin sound would still get lost under even the most subdued offhand question or truck passing by outside. The album is amazing in it's nothingness, on several levels. Not just because under almost any regular circumstances the sounds contained will register as nothing. There's something about the entire package that doesn't align itself with anything at all. The junior high notebook doodle and empty liner notes don't really aspire to minimalism. The hyper-silent mastering absolutely doesn't read as a reflexive political statement on over-compressed pop music. Even the sounds, when you can get to them; long eerie clouds of sick, filmy synth-like wandering-- don't take up the same space as any given ambient wallpaper or unravel slowly enough to offer a meditative zone out of either peace or disgust. Instead, "Trouble" kind of hovers in ugly fits and starts, begging you to either give up on it or listen to everything else going on around you. No resolution gets offered anywhere, no goal is attached to the piece and it's going to be hard to hear even if you clear your whole day and find a quiet padded room somewhere. The vacuous, seemingly pointless appeal of the piece assures that interest will be lost before frustration even sets in, insisting constantly and loudly that it's not even there and should just be left alone.

Learn more about the record or buy it here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Just played some gigs in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Thanks to Jeremy Moran for shooting video of this song that I'd never really played live before.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Hydropark is a new unit with myself and Chuck Sipperley both playing various synthesizers, Chad Pratt on drums and Jason Lymangrover on bass. Instrumental bug outs or repetitions. Most oft-asked question; "How blazed were you during these jams?" Answer: "Never touch the stuff, but I understand how you might think that. Have you ever heard Nobukazu Takemura? One time I got so sick at my job that the only thing that felt like it would make any sense was to drive a few blocks over to the Best Buy parking lot and lie down in the drivers seat of my car. I parked as far off in the corners of the lot as possible, but tried to be around at least one or two other employee's cars as not to look just absolutely sore-thumb sketchy. You know, dude sleeping in his car at 12:30pm on a Tuesday, parked a safe distance from everyone else to minimize the mess when the home-made bomb goes off or whatever the fuck he's planning. It was cold, the first part of the winter, easily, and I felt colder from whatever illness was going through my blood, so I curled up in a ball and started playing a random Takemura record quietly off of my phone. "Scope", a more abstract and glitchy one with long, protracted fields of sound and brambles filling in as songs. I fell asleep without noticing, coasting on the lengthy glass-plane like electronic vaulting rods that seemed like they were being flung slow-motion around the car, slowed down even further by my bubbles of nausea and shivering exhaustion." Photograph by Ian Fulcher, taken at our 2nd show, Arbor Vitae loft, January 17, 2014.