Seth Graham - "Gasp"
(Noumenal Loom / Orange Milk)
I think the reason why I enjoy releases from the Orange Milk guys so much is because each one is like a visit to a modern art gallery. I have this vivid image of Keith Rankin and Seth Graham, the curators of this amazing gallery, roaming the black & white checkerboard halls and admiring the floating eyeballs, bleeding cubes, and broken statues.
The recent release, (on both Noumenal Loom and Orange Milk,) entitled Gasp does not dispel this imagery. It is the quintessential Orange Milk release, a distilled and vibrant bible of what avant-garde minimalist audio cubism should sound like. It is this type of free-form art gallery mind-jazz that has reviewers like me struggling to describe it with hyperbole rich, yet quotable run-on sentences that rely heavily on visual metaphors, such as, "It's like tossing an orchestra into a blender!" or "It's like a giant alien grabbed earth and is playing it like an instrument," but those kind of descriptions can only go so far.
What Seth Graham has created here in Gasp is a unique audio object that commands attention. Each fleeting fragment of sound takes the mind in another direction and is immediately followed by an entirely different sound pushing the mind in an altogether separate direction. This constant shifting of perspective confuses the logical center of the mind and creates a strangely euphoric disorientation.
Using a complex network of these juxtaposed sounds, including scraps of stringed instruments, snatches of spoken words, and thousands of other audio tidbits, and the skillful application of panning each sound to varied points on the stereo spectrum, Graham is able to produce an album that jams mental frequencies and halts the listener in the midst of activity to try and decipher the coded message. Perhaps as you stroll through the strange gallery of Orange Milk, you will stop to ponder this latest piece of Seth Graham's work, and find yourself lost in its deftly deconstructed glory.