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Abstract ambience and drone from Paul Dickow’s Strategy project. This alien music is produced from radio static, snippets of battered tapes and distorted field recordings. Information Pollution is an apt title too, as assorted found sounds and ambient recordings overlap and fill the space, like harsh noise for the digital age.

LP £11.69 FUR101

180g vinyl LP on Further.

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Information Pollution by Strategy
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7/10 Jamie Staff review, 29 February 2016

Startegy is the project of Paul Dickow, a producer from Portland; his latest album consists of four lengthy tracks of static and drone to entrance and disorient you.

Opener, "Public Voyeurs" - at just over seven minutes the shortest of the four tracks - begins with what appears to be the soft, distant chatter of unidentifiable life forms but soon clarifies through a dense soup of static and low, building industrial hum to reveal itself as communications - emergency services, bus relays and the like - "found" or overheard on shortwave radio.  Every now and then, when least expected, a loud noise-burst breaks through to further confuse you.

The theme continues on following tracks, "Relix" and "Fossil Data". I couldn't honestly say the overall effect is exactly relaxing, nor is it likely meant to be. It is, however, an absorbing listen where many ambient releases are not - it constantly holds the interest.  The voices which emerge through the clouds of sound are ghostly and haunting. Dickow apparently found these voices as "forgotten frequencies that I think might have been once used for police or broadcast TV."; he used effects processors and recorded the results direct to reel-to-reel tape on an old Akai. The sounds bubble and throb and then decay and recede, as in William Basinski's famous works, only in a more alien, shapeshifting, amorphous context.

It's certainly about as far from "chillout" music as is possible to conceive; throughout the record there's an uneasy feeling that machines are morphing - coming to life, even - much enhanced by the brooding, foreboding drones which are belched up.



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