kutin | kindlinger ~ Decomposition IV: Variations on bulletproof glass

Three years have passed since Decomposition I-III, which in Hollywood is considered an appropriate span of time for a sequel.  Music sequels are different in that the stars may stay the same, but the settings and plots may morph beyond recognition.  The common thread of these parts can be gleaned from their titles; these are sonic decompositions, the earlier set involving the inner workings of a telescope and the later work the filter of bulletproof glass.  The results are as exciting as a crash test, an event similar to the album’s sonic genesis.

While the glass may be bulletproof, the sound of broken glass permeates the set.  To be bulletproof is to resist or absorb impact; the possibility of fracture, shatter and even penetration remains.  Peter Kutin and Florian Kindlinger describe the project as “a piece about the impossibility of safety”.  This “broken music” is meant to symbolize a broken society whose people desperately wish for fusion and repair.  A further irony is that many will play this music on phones whose glass screens are cracked ~ a pocket-sized microcosm of the subject.

These sounds were captured by special microphones designed to record the nuances of crash tests.  When amplified and arranged, they become musical notes.  One recalls the occasional club hit that uses broken glass as percussion, C-Bank’s One More Shot a memorable example.  In segments, these tracks might also succeed in clubs, albeit only the grittier, more dangerous establishments.  Distortion, sub-bass and the threat of brokenness loom over the music, which in “H.A.A.R.P.” has the destructive power of a choreographed bar fight.  In one sense, Kutin and Kindlinger echo the words of Bob Dylan (“Everything Is Broken”); in another, they demonstrate the power of putting the pieces back together, albeit in jagged, menacing forms.  The music is neither warm nor cold, but red like blood, as reflected on the cover.  In similar fashion, one imagines the levels of the live show shoved into the red, causing the ears to bleed.

The album hides a surprise in the center: a pixie punk vocal piece containing the phrase “something to break away from”.  Not every break carries a negative connotation.  The title “I THRONE” implies one’s addiction to a device, a dehumanization apparent in the pounding industrial smashes, against which the singer seems to go to war.  In this case, something must break in order for something to heal.  How broken must our society get in order to turn a corner?  The answer is unclear.  What is clear is that one person’s debris is another person’s instrument.  These artists have swept up after us, salvaged our broken pieces, and turned them into art.  (Richard Allen)

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