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...one of those rare records where the artist
takes the best qualities of other artists I admire, adds his own individuality,
and seems to move everything up a notch. Option
This is one of those rare records where the artist takes the best qualities of other artists I admire, adds his own individuality, and seems to move everything up a notch. In varying proportions Dimuzio captures the excitement, careening adventurousness, and occasional harshness of Due Process; the shimmering sedation of Organum; and the primal, magical environments of Cranioclast. In a couple of places I thought of King Crimson making a discontinuous jump into noise experimentation. Rather than theme-development-melody, etc., Dimuzio works with moods, qualities, and ideas in evolution. While some of the sounds are recognizable, they seem embedded in contexts that make them new or unusual - check out the slightly revving engine. Side one has most of the storms of swirling, peaking distortion, but it doesn't seem irritating, blended as it is with so many other soothing sounds. Acoustic guitar, vocals, and other sounds from many sources are often in the mix. "Sallow" is a beautiful experience, while many others are thrilling. Although a one-man effort using tons of samples and computer-MIDI stuff, the record has a very live feel. Recommended. Tom Grove
All Music Guide
Originally released in 1989 on David Prescott's very small U.S. independent Generations Unlimited label, this CD is much more than the standard backward look at the early, formative work of a mature artist. Indeed, this is already a mature work, even though it came early in Dimuzio's professional career. The ten pieces in the program more or less run into (and out of) each other, but entirely different effects can be achieved by activating the random play button on your CD player, and altering the dynamic interactions of selections. The opening track, "Inherent Power and the Space Between," begins with the slow acceleration of what sounds like a race car engine (actually a treated bicycle), and then morphs into Hell's own Grand Prix, before evolving into the vaguely noise-rock "Shank Thesis," where unearthly howls and squeals are supported by almost funky percussive patterns. This piece ends with mysteriously interrupted static bursts, first quiet enough to be almost subliminal, growing into a full symphony of noise, and then trailing off into a urban tapestry of sirens, automobile and train horns, voices and radio broadcasts. This long track finally gives way to various other pieces with other combinations of real and processed sound -- Dimuzio's bag of tricks seems almost inexhaustible, and there's little or no recycling of sounds or techniques along the way. Those listeners who are put on edge by the intensity of the opening material will be pleasantly surprised by the later appearance of the elegant and mournful "Sallow," which sounds like a chorus of large aquatic mammals involved in a ritualized grieving ceremony for a lost comrade. Many other treats await the receptive listener, as Dimuzio alternatively highlights nervous, fragmented jumpcuts of sampled sounds, and then sinister industrial drones in the style of Lustmord or Lull, and even evokes some splendidly Enoesque ambience on "Detach," which sounds like the processed tolling of large church bells. It's all here, folks -- just about every sonic treatment and effect known to man, or so it seems. (4.5 stars) William Tilland
Growling, oscillating and convoluting its way through electric guitar, samplers, loops and tape samples, Headlock, originally released in 1989, takes traces of rock feedback, cut-up Improv and snatches of environmental recording, and then heatwelds them with digital precision of avant Electronica. Dimuzio bears comparison with DJ Spooky in his grasp of sonic futurism, but where Spooky's work thrives on dub - the delays and recalls of paranoid consciousness - this is clean edged and fleeting, a music of high speed planes, trains and generators. If King Crimson had studied under Edgard Varese. Matt ffytche
It Feels Good To Be A Beachsloth
A pure nightmarish journey, Thomas Dimuzio sculpts a surreal terrifying world on the infinitely creepy Headlock. What makes this industrial album so impressive is the geography of sound he employs. The way the sounds sort of filter on off into the distance adds to this disorienting experience. Dark ambient typically has a bad reputation and it usually does it to itself, but Dimuzio proves it can be done right. So many treated sounds filter on through, and the way they imply a vast territory covered in shadow feels quite deft. Rather than indulging in some of the ‘jump scares’ of other cryptic sonic veterans, his is a subtler sound, one that helps to make the skin crawl. Usage of found sounds, field recordings, shortwave radio transmissions (a personal favorite of mine) and the balance he maintains throughout makes it strangely entrancing, for it is one of those albums where one has no idea what is about to happen. Fans of Zoviet France, Illusion of Safety, and other similarly minded groups will find a lot to adore about this, for it possesses a distinct timeless aura about it, truly wild, feral, and unhinged.
This is probably the most brilliant piece of music this label has ever put out, and definitely the "tape of the month, " if our little magazine can stoop to such concepts. The artist presents a wide variety of noises, and shows an extreme talent at mixing and combining them. The effect is usually atmospheric, and occasionally melodic, but it is by all means as complex as, and if anything more complex than, a traditionally structured piece. Dimuzio has invented his own musical elements and relations of sounds, really a complete departure from anything I have heard before. He has presented series of sounds as variations on each other, connecting them through very subtle links, such as their sharpness, the amount of decay or reverberation on them, how pure their tones are, and many more—I could try to detail all of these links in just too many words, but any listener could hear what I am talking about very easily, because it is an artistic concept and not a theoretical one. Through most of the album, the music fits together from all conventional standpoints as well—that is, the sounds do not seem awkward together in any way. Ironically, I think the one weakness of the album is when Dimuzio tries to borrow from conventional instruments. There is a part for a guitar in the middle of the record which does not connect at all with the noises around it. There is, however, an Eastern-sounding part for flute at the end which does work and sounds very pretty, perhaps because he is able to extract the sound better—but still, the method in this piece is not original, and so it is not as striking like some of the more electronic parts of the album.
Overall, though, Dimuzio has created music which gets better every time you listen to it. The first time through, it sounds like a somewhat dry atmospheric album with a large selection of sounds in it. The most common of these are soft scrapes put through loads of effects, and his own version of the usual noise album with buzzes, motors, voices, etc.—but, like I said, there are alot of others too. The composer seems to have taken certain sounds, used them, processed them again until they are just barely recognizable, used them again, etc. In this way, the overall feeling of the sounds stays the same, and a subtle soundscape seems to emerge. Gradually, the listener notices differences of small gestures in each of the sounds, and fits them into the piece as a whole.
All of the nuances begin to connect, revealing what they have in common and how they are variations on each other. Eventually, the record really becomes an intricate museum of images. Tavis Barr