Ad Noiseam 80 CD by Aaron Spectre
Ad Noiseam 80 CD review
From its opening salvo of disembodied dulcimer strings reverberating in the air, Aaron Spectre's latest offering appears to be in complete opposition to his Drumcorps personality. But don't let his downtempo side fool you - Lost Tracks is every bit as meticulously crafted as anything Spectre's done, chock full of dense ambient soundscapes, complex rhythm lines, the odd catchy hook, and other sonic treats for the eager explorer. Written in New York and Berlin, the nine tracks span six years of Spectre's musical development – from fledgling DJ to live act to be reckoned with. While not a biographical album per se, listeners can witness the progression of Spectre's trademark style. At times mysterious, even seductive, but more often than not thoughtful and melancholic, you can imagine a 21-year-old Aaron Spectre arriving alone and optimistic in NYC, only to seek refuge from the city in his gear-filled bedroom. In these solitary hours – and ultimately years – he honed his craft the proverbial hard way, tweaking, experimenting, and learning as he went along. The result? From the oldest track, “The Wrong Fuel,” a mournful drone-and-glitch barrage with a nearly unbearably harsh crescendo of distortion, to the newest – and aptly titled – “Dulcimer,” a haunting ambient composition whose translucent harmonies float in the air, the album is as well-traveled as its maker. Glitchy hip-hop styled “Down in the Gutter,” the unexpectedly sultry “Half Silver”, plaintive vocals woven with fragile guitar on “Degrees” – meanwhile, Spectre cements everything together with warm organic layers of sounds, airy reverbs, and dirty broken beats. Far from being the stereotypical electronica collection of tracks with endlessly repeating bars of neat-but-incidental little melodies, within each track is a clear structure and progression. And despite the somber mood of the album, the irrepressible joy of discovery and growing mastery lies buried beneath each track. Includes tracks with long-time collaborator Aarktica, Kazumi, and labelmate Lapsed. Ad Noiseam invites all to roam through this lush album, taking refuge in its secret spaces.