The more Rejections we hear, the more we understand the moniker. The artist’s last EP, The Vertical City, was based on J.G. Ballard’s dystopian High Rise; Resin in the Filter is based on the Tower of Babel. Ironically, these two subjects converge in that both involve a skyscraper (modern or primitive), accompanied by an overload of human ambition.
The story of the Tower of Babel (found in Genesis 11) is an attempt to explain how we ended up with so many different languages and cultures. In the narrative, the people of earth have gathered in one place and are building a structure that will soon be tall enough to challenge the heavens. God(s) ~ unclear due to the use of “the Royal We” ~ intervene, tossing the people all over the earth and mixing up their tongues. From this point on, humankind is never again united. To this, one might add a modern layer: the digital era has caused industrial societies to fracture further. We seek solace in disconnection while yearning for the opposite. Emails, texts, dropped calls, government eavesdropping, and the absence of clear tone in electronic communication are symptoms of a deeper malaise. We don’t understand each other, and we seldom take the time to connect on a deeper level.
According to the artist, human beings are “bombarded by narratives”. In order to bring this point home, he adopts various cut-up techniques, which include the transcription of emails and the digital processing of multiple layers of conversation between voice mail and cassette recorder. Layer upon layer are added until the whole thing collapses, like a tower built too high. To the average listener, the album may simply seem like a series of drones, albeit an extremely active series, but this is the point: an overabundance of signals can lead to sensory overload. The track titles (including such catchy names as “4v..5”) are also the result of splicing, but are rendered inert on Bandcamp as they blend into “A” and “B”. If intentional, this is clever; if unintentional, it’s scary, as it underscores the thesis.
Resin in the Filter flows best as a whole, despite the presence of tracks and the need to flip the cassette. Even without any knowledge of inspiration or specific execution, the listener is able to intuit the tone of the album, as well as the motivation. The music is so full that at times it seems claustrophobic. The presence of drums implies a need to march forward: to conquer, or at least to achieve. This is modern industrial music, reflecting promises of technology gone awry. If the artist chooses to reject such alienation, the rub is that he uses digital media to comment on itself. The static on the line, the feedback of crossed wires, the hum of ailing computers is presented as both attraction and warning. To ignore the warning is to abandon one’s humanity. (Richard Allen)