by Angel S.
The first time I played Miscommunication of Machines by FACE. V || R H G T, I was traveling somewhere deep in the eastern countryside of Bulgaria. I remember the road being in shambles and the car struggling to endure it under the still-burning sun of the fading August summer. We were surrounded by emptied villages. In this time capsule, the only thing that really felt alive was the car engine for its struggle against the hot and destroyed asphalt. I reached for the Miscommunication of Machines tape, and a few moments later, one could hardly separate the music from the sound of our current reality. I was once again reminded that the greatest power of ambient and experimental music is its ability to adapt to any context and thus reveal multiple meanings.
Thankfully, Miscommunication of Machines is an album that is convincing enough when played in a more traditional setting as well. It’s precisely structured and intended as some sort of a mechanical / machine dialog, and works surprisingly efficiently in this context. FACE. V || R H G T are names I’m hearing for the first time here admittedly, but the academic precision and focus of their sonic explorations for this debut on brilliant Belgium tape imprint Audio. Visuals. Atmosphere. speaks of a deeper understanding of how experimental music works than the typical release we see nowadays.
In Miscommunication of Machines, there’s more than enough music (‘Stops | Fricatives Part Two’), sound design (‘Sonorant | Consonantal [cut]’), atmosphere (‘Consonantal | Sonorant Part Two [cut]’), and noise to create in interesting overall release. It seems as if the tape was entirely created in individual sessions because some traces of sounds or rhythms can be found on different tracks; the album was likely then cut and additionally structured. In the end though, this approach does manage to form a strong and challenging work; yet, this leaves Miscommunication of Machines feeling more like an open-ended dialogue than a one-sided artistic manifestation of music or sound art. The tape might not require a specific setting for a full listening experience, but it can certainly benefit from one. And it certainly requires the right mindset as it’s not an easy ride, to be sure (no pun intended, for these damn Bulgarian countryside roads).