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Review from 'The Wire'
If the name 302 Acid suggests an unhealthy interest in the sound of a certain legendary Roland bass station, then forget you ever heard it. As it appears on this their debut album, there’s nothing minimalist or retro about the music of this Washington DC trio. Even Calls is a almost continuous swathe of densely arranged sound, multilayered and amniotically appealing. The swelling, substaining tones of Douglas Kallmayer’s electric double bass – sometimes bowed, sometimes plucked, always heavily treated – underpin most of these pieces. This unstinting flow of low-frequency tones serves as a rich, loamy subsoil in which the rest of the music takes root. It’s clear from the many twists and turns that live improvisation is as important as programming for 302 acid; a piece like ‘road trip to Tokyo’ incorporates lovingly nuanced percussion – all rimshots and lithe, darting hi hat fills – into a rising tide of sweetly distressed white noise. And it’s a finely calibrated dub sensibility that holds everything in place, a tuned understanding of when to drop the fader and let some space into the mix – ‘mortariggus’ is a spacious interlude that offers hovering, frippertronic drones and suggesting distant cavernous spaces with economic poise. It swings without pause into the hustling forward drive of ‘push putton’, and multitudinous clouds of sound gather again.
Experience 302 Acid's debut, a dark, twisted opus from the outer edges of the American psyche. The reborn em:t's latest release is its most experimental yet, an intense ride brought to you by three electronic innovators from Washington DC.
It's the creation of Doug Kallmeyer (samples, bass), Justin Mader (samples, projections) and Andrew Reichel (electronics), three men brought together through meetings in DC's most salubrious hangouts - tattoo parlours, night clubs, art spaces, protest rallies and a joint love of all things electronic-punk-prog-hardcore-metal-jazz-classical.
em:t fans will be familiar with Andrew Reichel. As alter-ego gel-sol, he released his critically-acclaimed debut gel-sol 1104 on the label in late 2004. Now, with 302 Acid, em:t continues to push at the boundaries of intelligent electronic music.
Swirling atmospherics glide over syncopated beats, dubby low-end bass rumbles and roughly-hewn digital soundscapes, producing an end result refined on the many occasions 302 Acid have taken their multi-media, improvisational show live.
It's still an anxious age, and this is its soundtrack. An electronic tornado, the calm is shattered. No more. No more.
The latest from EMIT. By the same artist that brought us EMIT1104 (GEl SOL).