Head Boggle

Head Boggle - Serge Modular in Hi Fi

Pithy crackle and feedback opens Experimedia artist Head Boggle’s aptly titled “Serge Modular In Hi Fi” LP, a characteristic that occupies the record’s heart. The sounds are contained in a buzzing triptych that billows outward like smoke from a log fire. On “’68 News”, bleeps and musique concrete conspire in the ambient category via a slow speed. The resonances are cause and effect, being more blip than bustle, further background stimulant than active harmonic agent.

It takes time to fully get your head round it — as if this music exists for machines and not emotions. Or as if it were the output of a barren Clangers soundtrack, the creatures nosing the edge of their world and hiding down holes only to record the resulting frequencies. As a result it sounds alien. “’59 Rhapsody” has noise that malfunctions like a half-connected headphone. This ear for discordant dissonance and under-structured composition matches the notes played. Ultimately it’s unadulterated sound, left to grow in its own way like an untended organism.

The absence of groove often acts as a counterbalance for music on the improvised spectrum. Indeed, the closest comparison is with Rashad Becker’s recent “Traditional Music Of Notional Species”. Like that album, the focus of “Serge Modular in Hi Fi” is on harsh texture, massaged together with electronic bloops; a synth being doused with liquid while plugged in. The difference is that Becker works his sounds in programming, while Head Boggle works in live mode. Derek Gedalecia, the mind behind this effuse display, created “Serge Modular In Hi Fi” on a pre-STS synthesiser of the same name, with “an intention to achieve pseudo 3D ‘cubed’ sound through discrete recording and mixing techniques”. The body wants to immerse itself in the LP; the head, for certain, is boggled by unfamiliarity and bemusement.

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