DNT Records; 2008
I was really pumped when this release came in the mail. Not only does DNT always put out high-quality stuff, but Bobb Bruno is the man.
The A Side, “Snail’s Pace,” unveils an amazing terrace of shifting drones that could easily be the soundtrack to epic aerial footage of the Andes. After being slowly brought down to earth with jittery percussion, the whole thing gels into a swirling amalgamation of synths and digital effects, with Bruno’s steady drum work consistently churning the mixture. The clear-toned synths, now coated in distorted effects, finish off the side, completing a varied and incredibly strong track.
“Clown’s Castle,” seems to take an oppositional approach. Instead of scenic synth tones, the track begins with the repetition of a ridiculously sludgy two-chord guitar riff. Calling to mind Boris or Sun O))), the riff is heavy and relentless, even as it is attacked from all sides by piercing feedback and electronics. After a prolonged build-up, Bruno finally comes in with his pounding drums – locking the track into a steady, menacing groove. All of sudden, everything drops away, leaving only a bed of melodic, marimba-like tones. The pattern is as ethereal as the sludge guitar was dirty, making for a surprising, but effective, juxtaposition of sound.
The way Bruno can switch up his style not only between sides, but within the tracks themselves, speaks to his musical talent as well as his vision. While most artists find a signature sound and stick with it, it’s great to see someone constantly mining new sonic territory.