Gajek‘s Micromanic is one of two sublime silkscreened 10″ records being released this week by the dependable Infinite Greyscale, whose consistency over the past few years has been astounding. Every object is a work of art, the accompanying music distinctive. We suspect that all twelve of these records can be found mounted on their walls, a small yet slowly expanding exhibition.
Micromanic is a single, consistently developing piece that fascinates at every turn. From the name, one gleans a set of associations: micromanagement, manic behavior, hyperactivity tempered by focus. And right away, there’s that droplet on the cover, the water torture of a leaky tap transformed into percussion, offset by short bursts of steam, swiftly expanding into a dam break, a flood, a multiplication of tones. The horses have left the gate, yet Gajek continues to hold the reins. This is controlled chaos, the beeps and bursts dancing among the beats without ever bumping into each other. One thinks of the hand-drawn videos of Mirai Mizue, paramecia and fantastic monsters increasing in volume frame by frame, a frenzy of color and flow.
And then, just as the record threatens overload, the needle protesting that it will have to jump the groove, the electronics wind down. Behind the shingles, the boards are sturdy. The final two minutes are like the deceptive calm behind a thunderstorm. The clouds continue to protest; electrical changes still crackle overhead. A light drone is accompanied by sullen savagery, but the sonic sky is anything but clear.
On the other side, a woman spins like a tropical storm. She has found a way to work within the spiral. In the same manner, the artist rides the electricity rather than fighting it. It takes a micro mind to tame the manic, and Gajek is the lightning rod that channels this record’s crackling energy. (Richard Allen)