Deteriorated Broadcast: another dimension where strange drones and textures glide by in dark liquid ambience

Vertonen, Deteriorated Broadcast, CIP, CDR16 (2011)

A short series of muffled voices, as though from an expectant audience gathering to watch a performance or to participate in a seance perhaps, opens this CD-R; then all of a sudden there’s a snap and we are abruptly plunged into another dimension of existence, one that exists in parallel to our known universe but which we never had contact with before until now: a dimension where strange drones, a dull thrum, sound textures, bubbles, crackles, little scratchy noise lines and ghostly percussion winds and storms exist in a darkly liquid ambient soup. The sounds we’re hearing are sourced from shortwave radio, sine waves and metallic objects that are hit from time to time.

This is a mostly unassuming piece which has to be heard at loud volumes to get the full value as there’s plenty of rich vibrating metallic texture quietly breathing beneath the rather dead floating tone. After the 30th minute a cold wind blows through the cosmos and shrill spears of high-pitched tone slice through the darkness while a wobbly low-end drone hovers far below. Soon massively long steel ropes hold sway over the universe, the low drone bubbles away more confidently and sheets of metallic noise sound off constantly in the cavernous gaps between the new structures.

Come the 40th minute and the music calms down to a quietly quivering, almost inaudible wobble with dull mechanical clockwork sirens and a whirling, scurrying metal soup rhythm texture with hard bits in it going madly in the foreground. Gradually the whole edifice diminishes and retreats and we are back to where we started.

There were only 100 copies of this recording made available on CD-R so by now that run has probably completely sold out and I have no idea if any more will become available. A shame really because this work is very carefully composed and edited in such a way that you can feel the yawning spaces within the sound sculpture and marvel at the steel strings flung high, perhaps hundreds of metres high, over your head. Recommended for fans of Francisco Lopez and Joe Banks.

Contact: CIP

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