Ben Bondy - Glans Intercum Music Album Reviews

Ben Bondy - Glans Intercum Music Album Reviews
Ben Bondy makes ambient music shot through with sharp, pristinely mixed drums. This album for Huerco S.’s label is psychedelic in a way that suggests a faint sense of nausea or discomfort.

Glans Intercum isn’t really Latin, and if it sounds like something dirty, it’s supposed to. The cover looks like a fruiting fungus at first, but look closer and it’s clearly a moldy dog turd. (Those are mushrooms of a very different kind, though, in his Bandcamp artist photo.) There’s no doubt about it—Ben Bondy is a bit of a jokester. The Brooklyn-based producer and graphic designer might seem like an odd fit for West Mineral Ltd., best known for a vaporous and murky strain of ambient concealed in fog and shadow. But as boisterous as Glans Intercum can be, it really isn’t all that different from what associates and collaborators like Huerco S., Picnic, Pontiac Streator, and Ulla Straus do: ambient music shot through with the pulse of the club.

The difference is that while those artists rarely let anything more than the slightest beat penetrate the murk of their productions, Bondy relegates the more vaporous elements of his music to the back of the mix, using them as a moving platform for some of the sharpest, most pristinely mixed drums you’re likely to hear on an electronic album this year. In the absence of stereo panning, these drums take on a fearful symmetry, and Bondy subtly treats them with echo so they seem to duck in and out of the darker corners of the mix, where all the pads and squishy sounds live. “Ash in Emerald Casing,” “Drip on Nape,” and “Skizz'' are the album’s most relentless drum workouts. Meanwhile, the more ambient tracks that divide them seem composed almost entirely of the pops and snaps and pointillist clicks that usually find their way into West Mineral productions as textural grit.

At first, there seems to be a clear divide between the “ambient” tracks and the “club” tracks, but one of the record’s strengths is how the two feed into one another. There’s always something gorgeous going on deep in the bowels of the bangers, like the great swooning chords that perfume “Emerald Casing” or the wonderful droplet synth on “Drip on Nape” that moves in and out of fields of echo. Meanwhile, the ambient tracks hint at a beat with little shudders and snare rolls, until finally the whole album unburdens itself into the title track, which comes across as an extended sigh. It’s refreshing that Bondy doesn’t treat these tracks as foreplay. There’s always something weird going on in the background (is that the sound of someone chewing on “Spangled?”), and he never relies on loops or drones or synth-pad ruminations to kill time.

This is a spongy, tactile record, and it sustains an organic quality without incorporating anything resembling a “real” instrument. Maybe that’s because of how it always seems to be writhing and twisting. Spoken word by Andrea Stella appears on two tracks, but the words are less important than the way Bondy distends them so they seem to curl back on themselves like a Möbius strip. Bondy, as a lover of all things mycological, must have internalized the way the body wants to squirm out of itself in the throes of a mushroom trip. This is an intensely psychedelic record—not in the mind-expanding way in which the term is usually used, but in a physical way that suggests a faint nausea, a sense of discomfort. If ambient music is associated with comedowns, here’s an album for the peak.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ben Bondy - Glans Intercum Music Album Reviews Ben Bondy - Glans Intercum Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on August 10, 2021 Rating: 5


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