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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Brandon Reisig Here & There (2023)

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

There are jewels of creativity in this album, which nevertheless requires a good open mind

1 Glass Factory 7:49

2 Hawk-Wind 9:42

3 I-10 6:28

4 I-55 7:09

5 Latex Skin 10:04

6 State Route 56 9:04

(DDL/CD-(R) 50:18) (V.F.)

(Experimental Ambient Industrial)

As much as I want to pick and choose the music I want to review lately, there's always a new artist and a new genre of electronic music (EM) that the Argentinian label wants fans of the genre to discover. And what genre is Brandon Reisig's HERE & THERE? Everything, noise and experimental EM! My friend Bernard would say, mate, this is not for your ears! And I'd have to agree with him. Even though I've been listening to every genre and style for over 30 years, my ears still sometimes recoil from one kind of music. Let's just say HERE & THERE falls into that category. It sounds like a cross between industrial ambiences and those of more organic sounds of creatures conceived in vile secret laboratories. Like the Umbrella Corporation in Resident Evil. But I had to tell you about it, since I regularly review Cyclical Dreams releases. And my ears have made some fine discoveries over the years. At times, they've had to work hard to get me used to more experimental styles, such as Krakenkraft (Sonic Hymnary), John Scott Shepherd (Legends of Mars) and SONICrider (Elapsus). It's true that the first few listens of those were laborious, but in the end I succumbed to some of these albums' charms. But no, there's been nothing like Brandon Reisig to date on this label. Who is this artist? And what does he eat in winter? He's a multi-instrumentalist from Ohio who likes to tinker electronic instruments and equipment to create all kinds of sounds. He likes to fuse the tones of different synths, both modular analog and digital, and play with reel-to-reel tape effects to create sonic panoramas that defy the boundaries of psychedelic music. And what does he eat in winter? Daring! Lots and lots of audacity. And asphalt and landscapes lining roads and highways, as the music on his debut album on Cyclical Dreams is inspired by his road trips from Memphis to New Orleans and home to West Virginia.

My ears try to get out of my headphones as soon as the first trituration of sounds emerge from the opening of Glass Factory. It's a stream of vivid jerks, conceived in the distortion of twisted filaments, that the mechanical-industrial rhythm smashes our eardrums. It's violent, rough and, at the same time, attractive! Think of The Chemical Brothers, the track Where do I Begin, without rhythm, or some of the introductory elements to tracks on Death in Vegas' album The Contino Sessions. It also vaguely reminds me of the early work of American guitarist-synthesist Neil Nappe. Some might say it reminds them of Synergy. In short, a whole iconoclastic sound world where there's more than just raw rhythm and noise! The synth spits out a short looping thread of melody, while the mass of sounds subdivides to create bits of melody that jostle in symbiosis with the jerky rhythm. And in the end, it becomes quite edible to the ear. You just have to go for it! Ditto with Hawk-Wind, which was inspired by the flight of a hawk around the Reisig property. The flight was recorded and some of its elements, such as its cries and the rubbing of its wings, are an integral part of this creative track, which has a bit of Tangerine Dream, the shimmering ambience of Phaedra, in its wing. The aerial hums are reminiscent of the falcon's wing movements and its acrobatics in mid-air. The American musician-synthesist plays with the intensity level, bringing the right nuances to the fluctuations of the ambient industrial movement. You see, it's not that bad Bernard would say!

I-10 also contains Phaedra-like elements that shimmer and undulate beneath a layer of twisted drones. Massed together, these drones flow in jolts to create an illusion of rhythm in a sound environment as reminiscent of Synergy as TD here. I like the rubbing sounds, like wings, which follow the evolution of the car on the I-10. They form the basis of the first rhythmic backbone of I-55, where the asphalt unfurls beneath a mesh of synth loops and effects. A superb pulsating rhythm emerges around the 90-second mark. It's as if you're driving down a straight road, the right-hand side of which is adorned with telephone poles that can be heard through the car's open rear windows. Try it and you'll understand! Still, from a trip in a car, we climb onto a train that's running at breakneck speed in the 2nd half of I-55. Latex Skin takes us back to the thundering ambiences at the beginning of Glass Factory. Except that there's no rhythm here. This is a heavy, noisy industrial atmospheric track. We hear huge twists ejecting gurgling, rather like a mechanical beast made up of moving rings spewing out its waste. Synth waves sound like eddies stirring with radioactive matter. Synth filaments eject, sculpting alternate loops that drip with a more musical tone. But the essence of the track is more in the experimental genre. Just like State Route 56, which pushes the limits of my tolerance even further...

Life experience teaches us to avoid judging a person by what they wear, or a book by its cover. In music, I'd say you shouldn't be too hasty in criticizing a work. Until you've listened to it, not heard it, with a slightly open mind. I closed my ears within the first few seconds of Glass Factory. I put the download in my music bank, to move on. I listened to it again later, since the Cyclical Dreams label always produces interesting stuff. And I was wrong! It took a few listens, probably as many as the times I tamed Synergy's excellent Cords, to familiarize myself with HERE & THERE as a whole. And in the end, I found this Brandon Reisig download album more interesting than the other way around. There are some creative gems on this album, but I can't quite get to grips with the last 2 titles. So, my friend Bernard would be half wrong...😉

Sylvain Lupari (August 3rd, 2023) ***¾**

Available on Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

(NB: Texts in blue are links you can click on)

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Brandon Reisig
Brandon Reisig
Aug 05, 2023

I eat mostly roasted chicken and soup in the winter, btw🤖

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