REVIEW: Cathode Ray Tube - "Sub Zero Sensei"

By J 'Hirez' H-R

Chain Border

Subzero SenseiI'm not sure what to make of this. I suspect that it was created by some anarchist organisation who firmly believe that tunes and musical structure are impediments to true creative freedom. Accordingly, we find a CDs worth of bleepy-woobly noises, found sounds, snatches of conversation, twisted and otherwise distorted versions of same, menacing rumbly noises and intentional digital distortion (or 'glitch' as you young people would have it). It's as if someone had picked up a couple of synths, shaken them vigourously, tipped all the loose sounds into a bucket and then taken that to the mastering plant to be pressed up.

Sometimes there's enough of a rhythm track to hang some notes around in a moderately pleasing manner. Oftentimes there isn't. Occasionally curious-looking synth patches will loom out of the audio-mist, honk disconsolately at you and then sink back from whence they came, accompanied by the sound of someone beating a fax machine to death with a rolled-up newspaper.

What this CD is really good at is providing a meandering soundtrack while you do other more or less interesting things. Thus the first track could also be called 'Staring intently at some firewall logs while a near-funky pattern of dripping taps expires in the corner' and the second 'I tap my teeth with pencils. Interesting string sample.' Which all probably sounds like I'm damning the beast with faint praise. I guess that's true though, because there's nothing here to actively dislike. It all just slides politely into the ears like mashed up biscuits, rather than making you wonder what random cocktail of evil stimulants the band had consumed to make them produce such an ugly racket.

But, if you like music that works as an accompaniment to Ikea furniture, you can find it at C-Fom (C-Fom? Who can say?) Records.

Post: C-Fom Records, 411a Highland Avenue, #312, Somerville, MA, 02144

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