steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"This Way To Escape" CD

Public Eyesore

Genres: experimental, ambient, sound sculpture

Bryan Day / PE
3803 S 25th St.
Omaha, NE 68107

Oct 14 - 20 2002

Two weeks down the line and I'm becoming quite addicted to this CD. Using soundbites, noises, sound manipulations, and various other experimental audio techniques, Hollydrift creates complex experimental sound sculptures that manage to spark both interest and entertainment in the listener's ears.
That said, though, it's important to note that Hollydrift's music is also mortifyingly dark. Using creepy ambient electronics, frightening melodies, and eerie beats, the ten songs on this disc sound like Coil playing in a graveyard at night to an audience of restless zombies and corpses.

Take "Always Looking West," for example. Starting with a minor-key synth-chord pattern, the sounds are slowly broken apart, making way for a bizarre number-station sample and then an onslaught of decaying chant vocals and dilapidated grunge atmospherics. As time elapses, the sounds are slowly pared down and in comes the synth-chords again, this time sounding more eerie and distorted than before. Gradually, the track comes down, ending in a bizarre, repeated dialtone sound.

"Cloudy Lie The Fields," meanwhile, is an almost seven-minute track that lays various jarring sounds over an electronic ambiance, creating a perfect mixture of audio stew to carry you into a warped trance. Halfway through, various echoing sounds of industrial appliances are introduced into the track, making for a surreal agglomeration of mechanical noises that remind you about how machine-based our world is becoming.

While Hollydrift's music may require a relatively large attention span to fully enjoy, there is no denying that This Way To Escape is an extremely dark, potent album of experimental electronic music. And though other sound artists are busy composing glitchy symphonies of sound and minimalist audio art, Hollydrift instead injects us with his own brand of dark, sample-ridden noise concoctions. Perhaps I'm the only one saying this, but I have no trouble stating that This Way To Escape is one of 2002's most enjoyable experimental albums.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: approx. 53 min; 10 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2002]