Dusted Reviews

irr. app. (ext.) - ozeaniche gefühle

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: irr. app. (ext.)

Album: ozeaniche gefühle

Label: Helen Scarsdale

Review date: Mar. 8, 2005

irr. app. (ext.) – the professional moniker of Bay Area sound artist Matt Waldron – should be on the lips of electronic/drone aficionados worldwide, spoken of alongside celebrated noise-shapers The Hafler Trio and Andrew Chalk. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case. Due to the collapse of several record deals, Waldron has seen only two of his near-dozen completed albums released. Although collaborations with high-profile acts such as Nurse With Wound and Stillupsteypa may have boosted Waldron’s profile among the cloistered ranks of the post-industrial set, many who would be naturally drawn to irr. app. (ext.) simply haven’t had the chance.

ozeaniche gefühle is bound to make a lot of us wonder what we’ve been missing. Waldron’s skills in sound manipulation put him miles ahead of many of his peers – there’s a discriminating musicality in his work that other drone practitioners rarely achieve. Yes, there are the requisite unearthly resonances and cadaverous tones, but these hallmarks of dark ambient music are arranged in a sophisticated skein of sound unlike any I’ve previously heard.

Translated literally as “oceanic feelings,” ozeaniche gefühle was a term used by Wilhelm Reich to describe the connectivity each organism has with the world around it. In Reich’s understanding, said organism radiates spiral energy from its center which subsequently becomes part of a larger whole. irr. app. (ext.) attempt a sonic approximation of this high-concept process. Waves of sound uncoil from finite points, slowly stretching into vast aural horizons, as hollowed-out frequencies and blanched drones are met by skeletal percussive thumps.

Tension and release are the hallmarks of the disc’s two tracks. These polarities of desolation and density provoked a wide range of reactions as I listened. At moments I found myself placated by the soothing lull of familiar sounds such as wind and rain, at others, I was assaulted by aggressively processed frequencies of varying pitch and intensity. Taken as a whole, ozeaniche gefühle is incredibly potent; the kind of record you approach with the same respectful caution as certain psychoactive chemicals.

Waldron’s pieces are dark, but possess an elemental elegance. Environments are painstakingly established, before being gradually subverted by methodical sonic disturbances. But irr. app (ext.) usually manages to find a way out each musical cataclysm, no matter how encompassing. Listening to the record is a bit like hearing weather; in the midst of the most extreme meteorological violence, an unsettling calm appears as if out of nowhere. These temporary lulls are no guarantee of safety, however. Like the chthonic aspects of nature which it emulates, the music on this disc follows its own recondite instinct.

It’s safe to assume Waldron’s other works are similarly affecting, and worth tracking down. Hopefully, irr. app (ext.) will release more material this decade than the last; drone music like this deserves to be appreciated by more than a lucky few.

By Casey Rae-Hunter

Other Reviews of irr. app. (ext.)


Read More

View all articles by Casey Rae-Hunter

Find out more about Helen Scarsdale

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.