Psychological Strategy Board – Penny Slinger: Out Of The Shadows

There are many travels that feel like explicit tests, ones where we uncover the true nature of ourselves, what it all means, and where our fate leads us. In music, it’s better to say “with music” to a lonesome traveller. Because like a psychological strategy board, or a penny slinger at a concert, it says much more than just what dialectics can. On this transmission from Psychological Strategy Board group on the (sehr) experimental international label Front & Follow, there is a very Germanic, Berlin school of electronic Musik referencing that contrasts not so heavily with the earlier landmark “14 Versions Of The Same EP”, with reincarnations from Isnaj Dui and Leyland Kirby amongst the alumni that specific time. Here is Penny Slinger’s turn.

I would like to think of travelling as a strategy board. But then, is it? Simply. God is a question, the God particle, in scientific theory, is questioning of your spiritual aims, even if you’re primarily like me an atheist. The point in process is that I make the contradistinction for you between individual psychology (part of the belief system of the individual) and group belief (a diluted but paradoxically much more powerful beast) that can cause either uplifting counsel, or serious damage.

In my last 15 or so reviews for Fluid I’ve made references to a triad construct of non-belief, neutrality and belief, much like any other reviewer here does in one way or another. I am speaking for how psychology informs the decisions the music “seems” to take on the listener, not the overall root structure of theology or denomination. I leave separatism to the theorists. Uplifting, most definitely, this record is a thunderbolt from the ultra wormhole, splitting preconceived notions of right and wrong down the middle with a sonic view, the field recordings here sound like rocks sliding over a sunny skyline: warm and momentous, filled with gravity and temporal fascination.

Meanwhile, bleeps and blips take on a reductive and partisan quality, an algorithm loosened the shackles upon and left to drift into a vaporous chasm. On “Expression In Ruins” it’s all very daunting and omnipresent indeed, whereas “Rats In The Walls Of Our Mind” touches on that metaphorical patchwork laid by PSB to form meanings out of molehills. Horns at the tail end draw comparisons to Rob Thorne’s last collaboration album (reviewed on this site). That the music sounds utterly bereft of buoyancy, is its very terminative quality – the psychological off switch, pass go, collect $200 and stop, as Monopoly might reinvent.

Much of the record has a interlude feel, like the next 1 minute 15 second aviary of birdsong, and referenced by “Out Of Formation (Out Of Duration)”. Musically, this stuff sounds like it was produced on a Moog. Either that or a high end keyboard or software. I am highly impressed with it, I love it, I think it’s a classic. And like reggae, there is a dubbed quality to the tapes that warrants repeated listening. I find the textures highly intriguing; how their shapes and contours are formed out of loquacious sound design that seems more by chance than design, but totally random (genius) and hence genuine. It’s like a collection of words that needs to be read as a whole to make sense of it, instead of skimming for specifics. This album comes very highly recommended!

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