John Swana – ‘Abohm’ [Review]

‘Abohm’ is an immense collection of 35 vignettes over 70 minutes, furthering the utterly unique sound of John Swana’s EVI (electronic valve instrument)- and trumpet-heavy slogans, as microscopic and atomized as the title unit.  Somewhere between Coil’s ‘Themes from Hellraiser’ and the IDM-jazz of Ui, Swana’s gems are Blade Runner sonatas for automatons, haunted by AI like the entirely electronic score from ‘Paprika’, with a precocious DIY evoking the animated slackerdom of Aeon Flux and the Muzak of Duckman.  Swaying, scaling ringtones over sequined beats; twisted arpeggios, MIDI-breakbeats, synthesized Theremins, and clipped-not-glitched horn solos; squirrely voices and phantom jingles; a mythical retroactive sci-fi through and through.  Edition of 100 hand-numbered tapes, with art by James Ulmer.

Galtta cassette

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