Distribution As Rhythm - Beats & Drones

12 songs
40:00 minutes
***** ***


Distribution As Rhythm is a project by Jarrod Fowler, a studied percussionist and post-Cagean artist, if I understood things correctly. On his DaR works, he collaborates with other artists, in this case Scutopus of whom I reviewed already two albums that went into noise and techno directions. On Beats & Drones, Scutopus offers the two drone pieces Agape and Grin, that start respectively end the album. In the middle there are then two-minute beat tracks by Durlin Lurt and Oscar P. McClure. So it seems as Mr Fowler only released the album without any otherwise active intervention, but that's not a problem as Beats & Drones works really perfectly as an experimental yet accessible album. Most people should like the ten two-minute untitled beat tracks that sound actually like one long twenty minute piece. About every minute, the beat changes and offers you complex warm rhythms that you normally don't find in music, but taken out of the context of regular instrumentation, they really stand by themselves as something entirely self-relying and even beautiful.

The two Scutopus pieces are something entirely different. Agape starts suddenly, as if you open the door and catch him playing the piece already. It's a series of sounds that go on for ten minutes without changing pitch actually, but if you concentrate hard enough, you will notice that a lot of tiny variations are fluctuating in the background, making this a very hypnotic piece you should not listen to while driving a car or operating heavy machinery. The concluding Grin has a more solemn atmosphere, probably using notes a that are a bit lower, making it a worthy end of this album. I am not that much an expert of experimental music, but this should please people who like Philip Glass, Phill Niblock and William Basinski or also certain American avant folk bands.

It may seem as if the drony Scutopus shouldn't work with the beats by Durlin Lurt and Oscar P. McClure, but there you would be mistaken. This is a sandwich kind of album that shows two different sides of experimental avant-garde music that can very well live next to each other. Limited to only 50 copies, people who like challenging sounds should be quick to get their hands on this rare album.

Back to Reviews