Review: Event Cloak - Reprogramming (Tranquility Tapes, 2012)

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Knowing that Event Cloak is Nick Maturo, the ½ of Canadian ambient unit Sundrips might led you to believe that “Reprogramming” is yet another cassette of soothing and relaxed sounds with a droney edge. It’s okay to believe that, many side-projects of better known bands fall into the trap called “sounding the same as original band, only simpler”, especially in the whole cassette drone scene. So don’t get too scared when you’re greeted with harsh, glitchy intro with fragmented, nearly tormented vocal transmissions reminiscent of Morton Subotnick on amphetamines. “Reprogramming” sees Maturo maturing, and expanding beyond the lazy, hazy confines of New New Age muzak.

Sure, the sounds on the cassette will often wander into the well worn territories of sequencer-heavy prog electronix, but always with a noisy, atonal twist, experimenting with Reich-like fragmentation and attempts at applying minimalist methods at the analog synthesizer revival. Fragments of some tracks might seem forced and needlessly stretched at times, but then again, most minimalism can sound forced and stretched to the less patient listeners. Electronic madness bobs up and down, switching from fluorescent noisy escapades to almost endless walls of purified electronic drone. There will be also times when Event Cloak will totally surprise, like the cut-up sound collages and plunderphonic bliss on some tracks, mixing mauled, distorted speech samples with fragments of someone else’s songs devoid of any context, creating a chaotic narrative in an uknown language based on English. Microscopic pieces of movie quotes, news broadcasts and (probably) speech samples recorded by Maturo himself blend into a microcosmos in the vein of Akufen, sans the microhouse beats.

“Reprogramming”, as an album, shows great potential. At approximately 54 minutes, it is the collection of ideas from Nick Maturo, who might want to distance himself from the tired ambience of Sundrips (or maybe not), and expand his musical horizons into the previously unheard areas. Godspeed to him, I say. Guessing from his individual ideas of how to sculpt sounds, he has a bright future in front of him. Just don’t be afraid to go all the way into other genres and directions, Nick. I wish you the best.

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LIVE: Hobo Cubes and Sundrips (Dec. 27th, 2010)

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Two wonderful sets from two wonderful friends of They Live We Sleep. Recorded on December 27th 2010, at Casa del Popolo in Montreal. That night we celebrated the release of They Live We Sleep’s first DVD-R with a screening, some beers, some jokes, and some drones.

First up, Sundrips. One of their oddest and best sets to date, but each performance is always better than the last with these two so what the hell do I know? Heavy noise as an introduction, twilight drone as a conclusion, truly one of a kind. For the full experience, watch Joe Dante’s contribution to Twilight Zone: The Movie.

Then, Hobo Cubes. Rumbling nightbus synth drones, bordering on truly filthy beats. I’ve never seen or heard anything like it. He wore a silly hat. For the full experience, watch Class of 1984 on 0.6x speed, starting with the gang fight under the bridge.

Thanks to Hobo Cubes for recording the sets, thanks to Nick, Ryan, and Frank for showing up and pulling off some truly amazing sets, and thanks to the 30 people who showed up!