Static – ‘Freedom of Noise’ [Review]

‘Freedom of Noise’ is latest from the sometimes project of Hanno Leichtmann called Static.  “Sometimes” because it’s been about 6 years since a Static release, despite a solid run on former label Center City Offices (a first indicator of the sort of sound going on here).  Composing almost entirely in loops, Leichtmann extends the pop minimalism of Terry Riley to achieve a similar ecstasy and overt timbre of technology.  Though the Introduction establishes the method in bare demonstration, there is not a track that follows which doesn’t add a layer or 3 of human voice or solo instrument, to break the endless patterns which otherwise paper the stereofield.  Looping strings, brass, winds and voice, the sounds are naturally soft and harmony comes so easy as to require regular surface abrasions (by most definitions, the only “noise” from which freedom is regulated in relation to).  Icy “Stubby Fingers” mixes minor-keys and scratches to achieve a Hood-like IDM, this juxtaposed hard against the proggishness of the title-track, a manifesto of sorts transmitted through the new wave of Thomas Dolby.  “The Boy Who Ran into the Sun” is a definite glimpse into what Bowie would be up to had he offset his career ahead 3 decades: marked-up distinctly with warm earth tones and metallic precision, the track threads saxophone through beads of percussion, electronic points and backing tweets to achieve a sedate, afro-downbeat with suitably spirited story-telling.  A nearly danceable beat develops over the following ornamental pairing “Sad Rocket” and “Sister Pain”, which gets interrupted rather aggressively by the noise/sublime/noise collage “Collage, Holz, Papier 2”, something of an overstated manifest on methods which will likely shake loose more fans of the pop inflection than gain adherents wishing for a rougher edge.  Waiting to be filed between Matmos and TV on the Radio, the Booksish “Corazon, Cristal” combines glitch with nouveau tribalism to achieve a very pleasing, resonant yet clean pop sound which doesn’t cut costs on the rhythmic scaffolding.

Karaoke Kalk CD/LP

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