DECAYCAST Reviews: PBK & John Wiggins “Where Pathways Meet” CDr (Acousmatique, 2018)
PBK & John Wiggins take a far out ride to the depths of sound design collaboration. “Where Pathways Meet” on newly formed San Francisco label Acousmatique Recordings, is two top notch sound artists/designers smashing into one and other basement studio style for a warm, complex journey through a myriad of minimalist, orchestral, and cinematic takes on experimental music.
DONE #2 (4-01) is blends lush strings, new age droned chirping caked with gently fluttering synthesizers, ringing shimmers of decaying sine ways, and subtle string groans into a soothing, pulsing ambient/drone work. Other tracks such as UNTITLED #1 (9-98) are much more diverse in their approach and sonic characters. This longform collage blends crunchy digital noise sources, churning, bubbling square wave synth grumblings atop psychedelic swashes of lo fi static for a disorienting, dense, and compelling ride through the designers mind. Bubbling distortions of memory fizzle, pop, decay and a new sound is born. Uniquely indescribable sounds, a chattering humming bell, a sqwaking, choking robotic bird belches out a sonic buzz of disorientation ringing in the inner ear. Field recordings cough ancient stories of a forgotten room where an ancient sonic experiment has died.
The John Wiggins track JW BED #7 (2-98) creates a highly tense situation with it’s long-form, nearly silent, digital waves decaying upon a shore which is sure to slice and dice the throat of any and all in the wake of the crescendo, early sun distortions bleed the ear until the quietest big becomes amplified into a cacophony of uncertainty and virus, while the PBK solo track PBK UNTITLED SOURCE (10-98) closing out the download leaves us with a stringed morose background for a nightmare of loss and a question never to be asked, cause the ear and brain has faded away with the very last note.
from the artists…
“John Wiggins is best known as an Emmy winning film and television sound designer, working for HBO and his own production company, Wonderland Sound. Wiggins is a master of the techniques of musique concrete, his experimental work often consists of painstakingly arranged synthetic and natural sounds that create extraordinary “living” audio environments. In 2017 Wiggins was one of the distinguished winners of “PRESQUE RIEN” Luc Ferrari Prize.
Phillip B. Klingler is considered a pioneer of noise in the U.S., but has also been recognized for his work in the areas of ambient, drone and glitch music. He uses samples, turntable, analog and digital synthesizers to create dense structures of bizarre sonic origin. He has had numerous albums released and collaborated with the likes of Jim O’Rourke, Wolf Eyes, Dirk Serries, etc.
Acousmatique is a record label from San Francisco, California that is focused on publishing and promoting the best contemporary music by artists from around the world. Follow the label for new publications in the Acousmatic, Electroacoustic, Immersive Audio, Musique Concrete, and West Coast music genres. Check out the full catalog at