Deformation of Tone

(Total Black) LP $20.00

Joe Colley’s skeleton key is an intra-dimensional sense of humor. It exists in a place between and beyond dry, deadpan, and defeatist, and is not actually funny. He has a knack for unlocking the essence of the absurdly uncomplicated, elevating it to a place of near-iconic significance, and leaving it there. Hovering in a void. Or mashed in the jowl of an insect getting doused with regurgitated chyme and rumen bacteria. Consistent with his past efforts, Deformation Of Tone contains no sturm und drang or exhausting dra-a-a-a-ama. This spectacle-free album delivers abrasive-adjacent electronic judders cloaked in a feeling of intimacy distilled from primordial ooze. The opening snippet from a lecture by a New Age devotee dissolves into Lucierian mosaic yammer, a droll nod to Colley’s upbringing, and plummets into a negative space populated by an unadorned clicking, that most elemental physical manifestation of audio phenomena, the antithesis of awareness and enlightenment and transcendence. Of sentience, even. A quintessential example of his streamlined, efficient hilarity. The episodes continue without pause, as if one is moving through an exhibition. Compared to Colley’s work, which he once described as “little noises arranged on a piece of plastic,” a lot of other noise seems hell-bent on shameless over-compensation. Embarrassingly so. His material has always been low-key, and Deformation Of Tone finds him shuffling in a colder, harsher, more desolate direction. The single-malt rasp of an unnamed conspiracy theorist / motivational speaker, present more for his intonation than anything else, punctuates this rather sculptural 33 minutes of machines whirring, devices beeping, blank-face rotary drones swelling and merging with unnaturally regimented hive rustlings and perfectly unpleasant high-gain squelch — all constructed with a master’s timing and sense of scale.


Sixth Mass Extinction

(Total Black) LP $23.00

Two side-long tracks: the stereo version of “Things Falling Apart,” a composition for three PAs, originally commissioned by Bad Bonn Kilbi Festival in Düdingen, Switzerland 2018, backed with “Radical Hope – Live Action (Studio Version),” triggered by a broken heart, since morphed into a piece about the relationship of the human as a species with Earth as a cherished entity, such as a loved one, a friend, a partner, a companion, a parent or a family member, a home or an origin. With eight-page newspaper featuring articles that offer a broad view of what homo sapiens has achieved in terms of coexistence and in taking care of its home, including a lengthy text by Professor Jem Bendell. Embossed jacket. Edition of 300