MASUL – The Arousal City

(Creative Sources)

The duo of Paul Giallorenzo (synthesizer, piano, found samples, computer) and Thomas Mejer (contrabass saxophone, found samples, computer), Masul are a pretty mysterious proposition since the very first minutes of “The arousal city”, a recording juxtaposing two live performances from 2004 and 2005 in Chicago. Darkish loops and pulsating asynchronisms depict dejected atmospheres in which Mejer’s saxophone recites an important role, underlining faint remembrances and flickering nocturnal lights with long sighs, sputtering syllables and apparently incongrous abstractions. Giallorenzo works undercover, but the fact that I didn’t hear a single recognizable synthetic timbre for the large part of the CD is the best certificate of programming intelligence I could attribute in this instance. The treated voices of “Arousal City #2″ and “Pops” sound like a disquieting nightmare where all the senses are drowned in molasses, while “Arousal City #3″ is the only segment with the pretence of a proper “rhythm” and a few elegant keyboard lines over it. Half theatre soundtrack, half suburban meditation, this series of sleepy, blurred snapshots is one of the most atypical releases in Creative Sources’ recent output and, in a way, one of the most unsettling ones. We’re never sure of what’s going to happen, remaining completely entangled in this strange deformation of reality, a kind of disturbed trance that wraps us inexorably, just like a spider does with its prey stuck in the web.

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