DUSTED MAGAZINE

Dusted Reviews

Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller - Phase

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: Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller

Album: Phase

Label: FSS

Review date: Apr. 20, 2010


Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller - "Phase (excerpt)" (Phase)


With the seemingly limitless mass of drone albums out there, it is tempting, even for a sympathetic listener like myself, to dismiss much of the lot as the sonic equivalent of a warm bath: immersive and pleasant but little more than a balm for overtaxed ears. With Phase, there is no such temptation. This is drone in its more intense, bracing form and it is far from soporific.

The album consists of a single 39-minute piece. It is an amalgamation of recordings by Jason Kahn and Jon Mueller that were made over the course of a brief U.S. tour, which were later mixed by Kahn to create this larger, epic drone. Both Kahn and Mueller are originally drummers, but, while they still use traditional acoustic percussion instruments, they do so in very untraditional ways. They are used more as resonators in conjunction with electronics, microphones and feedback. As a duo, Kahn and Mueller work with a variety of gongs, drums, cymbals, synthesizers and other electronics to create a broad spectrum of sharp textures and sounds.

In Phase these sounds ó the shivering of metal, the rattle of the drum head, the hum and pulse of feedback ó slip in and out of phase with one another (hence the albumís title). This roiling hive of noise gets more active as you listen. And the louder the volume, the more is revealed. What at first seems like an impenetrably dense, almost static, wall of sound morphs almost imperceptibly over the course of the piece, as waves of howling metal and vague intimations of ghostly voices collide, meld and move on. Itís not exactly a soothing bath-time experience, but it is a thrilling, disorienting, and quite startlingly gorgeous piece.

By Susanna Bolle

Read More

View all articles by Susanna Bolle

Find out more about FSS

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.