DECAYCAST Reviews: Somnaphon “Anthology Of Errors” VHS (Out of Body Records, 2014)

Somnaphon “Anthology Of  Errors”  VHS

SOMN FULL LAYOUT FINAL TEXTURE 2

Somnaphon creates glitched/data  bending digital audio and   visual synthesis. Signals run into each other  creating psychedelic, colorful matrixes of broken digital cell rendering. Who knows the  signal  flow of this  glitch artist but it seems geometry is  running amok, backed by a minimal but all present digital noise/ambient soundtrack,. Visual , architectural loops with varying but  repeating Colors, shapes, and planes bend, distort, tear and melt into each other through  digital loops of  circuit bent  video pulses. Out Of  Body Records usually releases all  analog artists, but with the release of the Somnaphon VHS, OOBR presents  these  eleven tracks  digitally moshed and  twisted visual experiments in  an analog  format, compared to some  of Somnaphon’s other online works, “Anthology Of  errors”  has a distinct  hybrid  digital/analog feel, often times appearing as  digitally glitched out scenes of  confusion presented and pressed onto analog  tape, or reprocessed through analog devices. Somnophon does a good  job at masking, or rounding out the  digital aesthetics of  “data  bending music”  for a more  1970’s analog feel. Cascading pillars of pixels, lines, and rogue color palettes gently , yet  meticulously morph and pulse into and out of each other  to create visual poems of  distorted geometry. Mirrored madness through the multiplication of  destroyed and  wrong pixels  creates a visual  journey or  errors   inside the  first ever broken computer- error in, error  out, blood in, blood out, bad human in, bad human out. Despite subscribing to the  “data bending”  strategy of visual construction, which can often display a somewhat limited visual palette,  Somnaphon employs a wide  array of  image creating techniques, which morphs, pulses, generates and multiplies over  the entire eleven tracks,  creating an obtuse visual representation of  what is possible with “data bending” .

The sounds compliment the images quite perfectly, at times, to a point, where it seems they are  often coming from the same source. Glitchy, choppy, digital  distorted pillars  of failing  and  flailing spikes and pulses  and apparent  silence create a synesthesia effect within the work itself. Lots of  digital reverb coat the structures of computer  hard  drives crashing into a sea of blackness. Sharp electronic blasts, spurt out chopped up transmissions  of broken morse  code ; sending a message out into space to the  unknown. Sometimes more beat/loop oriented, and other times more  sporadic and random, Somnaphon keeps the sonic and visual palette fresh and ever  changing on “Anthology of Errors”

At times more  painterly images are  formed and other times, more  rigid minimal, geometric structures and rendered and bled  into new forms of their previous incantations. Somnaphon is seeking to destroy  and  redistribute the pixel, to create “anti digital-digital art and music”  and this  VHS is the  perfect introduction to just that! Beautiful packaging , as always  from this label, complete  with the STOP PLEASE  REWIND sticker!!

SOMNAPHON

OUT OF BODY RECORDS

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