In Monomania, we find the latest tape from Tape Drift Records founder and sole Rambutan musician Eric Hardiman as he teams up with Parashi artist Mike Griffin for what should be an impressive collaboration. Both artists play together in Burnt Hills, so they have deep history of playing off of one another and lapsing in and out of spacious call-and-response technique. This is an echoing, sludgy beast of a tape that, despite its namesake, is anything but mono in nature. In fact, specific movements in Monomania remind me more of parts of krautrock outfits such as Eloy or Xhol Caravan, minus the rock factor.
“Sentient Moths,” Monomania‘s opener, is a solid track of tape filth and buzzing, humming machine drone that plays various acoustics of contrasting nature to great effect. The strange, pulsing audial tides that lap at the album’s proverbial night shore—and indeed, the atmosphere present throughout much of the tape does hint at a nocturnal environment—are contrasted by tape-manipulated, echoing fragments for much of Side A. At the apex of where all of these elements come together, they fall headlong into a deep, black abyss of bottom-dwelling drones and notes. The second half of the tape features bell-sounding percussion and what sounds like an augmented version of a slowed-down gamelan orchestra on “Forbidden Dialectic.”
Monomania is primarily comprised of a lot of low-end drones, tape hiss, drawn-out echo decay, and slow-motion interaction between tapes, electronic instruments, and other miscellaneous objects. A lot of these moods lend themselves to the episodic feel of a cinematic piece like Throbbing Gristle’s soundtrack to Derek Jarman’s In the Shadow of the Sun. This aspect in particular evokes smooth experimental soundscapes all around. This is essentially perfect for late-night loner listening, and you’ll find no complaints from this creep. There is an almost disjointed sense of dub on this hunk of magnesium oxide and plastic, and I love it, so fans of the harsher end of the spectrum may want to pass on Monomania.
A1) Sentient Moths
A2) Shapes in the Flood
B1) Forbidden Dialectic
B2) Vision (Disclosure)