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- Techno by Carlos Giffoni/Keith Fullerton Whitman
I'd been walking around the office in a trance looking at the sleeve of Carlos Giffoni and Keith Fullerton Whitman's split LP on No Fun Productions. The primitive cyberdelic black and white imagery (by Maya Miller) reminding me of the magic of staring at old rave flyers, very early techno sleeves or Bridget Riley's mind bending graphics. I bumped into our Business Lady and she nearly fell out of her stilettos. I've always felt that a lot of “noise” music has an affinity with techno.. For example the extremely underrated recent KK Null material. Giffoni is clearly addressing this idea with his synthesizer based productions, especially here with his track “Techno” which is a beatless plodding analogue synth workout which sneakily builds up a hypnotic groove with plenty of decay. It's a fantastic exercise in rhythm that excludes percussion. Midway through the track a high frequency is introduced that morphs into cartoonish squiggles that really make me grin. Actually I'd love to mix this in with some old Sahko records, pitched right down. I'm sure that techno purists would disagree, but I would say this IS techno. It's on the fly, its pure synth and the bleeps do it for me. Whitman's side is a different approach to the technology entirely. I'm either involuntarily tripping or it has been recorded live as I'm sure I can here some folks in the background. He twiddles about on the knobs emitting bizarre, unhinged clinks and clonks that sound both organic and synthetic. It sounds somewhere between musique concrete and very early electronic stuff like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop or even Raymond Scott. The sounds gradually become more aggressive and otherworldly. You really tell from the vibe he's both jamming and learning the parameters of the machine whilst having a keen sense of knowing exactly what he's doing. Towards the end he finally lets rip and goes sonically insane. This is one of the more subtle releases in the No Fun Productions catalogue but as arresting as some of the harsher ones.
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