Body/Dilloway/Head - Body/Dilloway/Head Music Album Reviews

Body/Dilloway/Head - Body/Dilloway/Head Music Album Reviews
Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s guitar duo collides with noise icon Aaron Dilloway’s inscrutable electronic methods, resulting in a thrilling mutation of all three artists’ signature sounds.

Open the gatefold of Aaron Dilloway’s 2012 album Modern Jester and the phrase “SHATTER ALL ORGANIZED ACTIVITIES'' is unmissable, its bold letters splayed in stark monochrome. Dilloway’s music abides by this chaotic imperative, ranging from warbled abstractions and barely-there tape hiss to crushing loops of found sound mangled beyond recognition. But he also acts as the fulcrum of a dynamic community of experimental musicians from the Midwest and beyond. His label Hanson has provided a platform for countless noisers, and he has released dozens of collaborative albums over the past two decades. Despite the hermetic impulse that drives his solo tape music, Dilloway is always drawing others into his surreal mirror world, where his collaborators’ artistic visions are splintered and reassembled in bewildering ways.

This is especially true of Body/Dilloway/Head, his first collaboration with Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s guitar duo. The union makes a great degree of sense. All three musicians are some of the most accomplished improvisers in the American underground, and in the decade since Sonic Youth split, Body/Head’s three albums have masterfully deconstructed rock music by saturating it with negative space, much the way Dilloway has reimagined noise. But few could have predicted the way this collaboration seems to unravel their respective styles into a miasmic swirl with a black hole tugging at its center.

It’s unclear exactly how this music was made, but all clues (including a statement by Gordon insinuating as much) point to Dilloway being handed a grip of unreleased Body/Head tapes and feeding them through his various apparatuses and effects. Looped snippets of distorted guitar sputter alive and recede just as quickly, and the queasy sound of tape speeding up and slowing down is a dominant feature from the album’s opening to its final minutes. Still, it would be reductive to describe this as a Dilloway album with Gordon and Nace’s music as the source material. Their singular guitar tones, open chords ringing behind sheaths of distortion and delay, remain intact and are pushed dramatically to the fore at various points. And then there’s Gordon’s voice, its oracular drawl made even more mysterious as it is sliced up and reassembled into an inscrutable mosaic.

Music made primarily with magnetic tape has an inherent sense of time-shifting, which Dilloway tinkers with repeatedly. The more he lets entire sections of entwined guitar drift play out, allowing the listener to momentarily forget there’s an extra layer of manipulation at play, the more shocking are the moments of disruption. Are we listening to Body/Head ruminate on this strange riff, or is that one of Dilloway’s loops, generated long after their amps shut off? That ambiguity, as well as the startling passages where time seems to fold in on itself—or stop completely as the tape cuts out—is central to the disorienting nature of the album. We’re left constantly wondering if our ears are playing tricks on us or if, perhaps, our own playback device is malfunctioning.

The bleak negative space that extends across Dilloway’s and Body/Head’s discographies often manifests as quietness. Quietness is one of those magical qualities in music that draws you closer, inviting more attentive listening. The first five minutes of “Body/Erase,” which stretches over Body/Dilloway/Head’s entire A-side, consists of a low, droning hum that spits up soft crackles of noise, almost inaudible if you’re hearing it on speakers without much bass response. Each time I listen it pushes me to the edge of my seat, straining to hear every muted slip of magnetic tape against the head; only once it has my undivided attention does it coalesce into a cathartic mass of sound. This music is demanding—of your patience, of your attention, of your tolerance for cacophony—but the reward is a fascinatingly confounding journey through the fragmented mirror world.

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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.
Body/Dilloway/Head - Body/Dilloway/Head Music Album Reviews Body/Dilloway/Head - Body/Dilloway/Head Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 06, 2021 Rating: 5


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