Recently that Charlie Brown comic book fragment became viral on the noisier side of Internet; yes, the one that says ‘I enjoy listening to static‘. Well it’s albums like Conure’s Interpretations on Silken Tofu that can make you one of those ‘wrong’ people who’d actually enjoy exposing themselves to seemingly chaotic walls of noise. And I say seemingly as usually there’s a lot more hidden beneath those waves of static.
Conure is not a newcomer to the scene. On the contrary, Mark Wilson has been around for quite some time and he’s been making noise music under this very moniker since around 2000. Interpretations is not an easy or accessible listen, however expected this may sound for a noise record. After an indefinite number of listens, I only managed to perceive it as an almost scientific exploration of sound and structure. That’s why adding music in front of the word noise has always been a weird choice of writing, anyway, but I find this one of the reasons why you should spend some time with the album.
The most curious feature of Interpretations is that it manages to be both static and very lively at the same exact time. I’m not just writing ‘smart stuff’ to make my review sound profound or something, the album really does exist in these two self-excluding dimensions. If you go through the tracks, both very consciously or while not too focused, you’ll see they often keep the same depth and style during their entire duration. Most of the time, Conure’s sonic modulations span over the whole sound spectrum, making the pieces intense and fully capable of occupying your perception with just a little left towards progression or whatever additive approaches you want to name.
As I said, at some points Interpretations may feel too considered, perfect, and accomplished, and I’d like it a bit more if there was that fleeting sense of uncontrolled noise aggression and edge that usually makes the genre what it really is. I’d also like it more if it were a bit more on the bassy side as—maybe it’s part of the concept, but as a whole—Interpretations feels more active in the mid and high-end of the mix and I’d like to hear a bit more bass destruction as… well, that’s just me. I like to exist in the lowest part of the sonic spectrum.
Interpretations‘ tracks (with maybe ‘How Many Times’ as a slight exception) are like sonic sculptures, finished from their very beginnings and left to fine-tune themselves during their similar lifespans. That really helps the album increase its replay value, as there’s a lot to discover in this over-saturated (in a good way) environment. Additionally, the fact that it comes on a tape makes it a very curious and worthy listen. A notable mention of the field recordings is deserving as they, from time to time, manage to escape the distorted and static vortex and slightly bring you back to reality, even if the reality they captured and the way they’re representing it is by no means comforting or calmer.
A1) What We Need
B1) Full Renewal
B2) How Many Times?
B3) Genius Interpreted