Grandfather Paradox

(Vauva - 10) LP $25.00

Human agency seems innocent in this context, old-fashioned even, as if the question asked by The Grandfather Paradox is nothing simpler yet more unfathomable than “What was sentience?” But Alex Ross’s musique concrète constructions are indeed masterful; transitions too numerous to catalog -- thus making the album something of a quasi-psychedelic opus, a theoretical string knotted around cosmic lugnuts in a Jacob’s Ladderly tangle -- are flipped, flopped and fried, unless they happen to be clashed, superimposed mechanics, gridlocked with microtonal tapestries that recall the marching band in Animal House forever stuck at the end of a blind alley. Symphonies of texture unravel and reconstitute into layers of persistent memory that roll around chambers where the law of gravity is mere hypothesis. Decentralized fragments glimpse into bent dimensions where inebriation-damaged gorp falls between curtains of denatured screech. With so much of The Grandfather Paradox seemingly absorbed in its own autistic self-containment, lacking concern for external destination, totally committed to something as specific and unknowable as an old daydream coming back to life, conjured by a subconsciously detected aroma, field recordings of, for example, an answering machine or public spaces where voices are audible, almost seem invasive, as if loutish, oblivious aliens are dumping toxic waste and completely bizarre religious rituals in the middle of an otherwise contentedly secular diorama. TEDIUM HOUSE BEST OF 2012