Entropic Force 10

dsic is LF Records label owner Greg Godwin, whose records have a high success rate with this reviewer’s lumpen lugs…on Entropy (LF 064) he’s doing it with a fairly familiar setup of “computer, systems, [and] effects” and turns in four tracks of abrasive glitch blather, presumably twisting the dials on his mixing desk with the same sort of controlled, manic energy that a sniper would use as they affix silencer and telescopic sights to their powerful rifle. I quite often have a mental image of dsic performing his operations with clenched teeth and a furrowed brow, but this is wholly inaccurate for the most part.

For this release, the key themes are “instability”, “disorder” and “fading” – I’m taking clues from the website hype – and all of these are terms almost interchangeable, for the creator, with the title “entropy”. I gather entropy is a scientific term used to describe the general winding-down of the physical universe, as gloomy scientists observe atoms decaying and falling apart and scale up this model to the rest of the world. Dsic may subscribe to this pessimistic view, given the listless and resigned way he generates the sounds here; maybe he sees entropy in operation everywhere.

Tracks certainly not lacking in audio interest, but there’s a certain subtext of despair which informs the passage of each eruption of molten digital crud. One is at times reminded of the famous “dying circuits” that were used in the creation of the Forbidden Planet soundtrack. Entropy may start out with lively pulsations and mesmerising fluctuations of electric filth, but by the time we reach the midway point of this record, dsic has given up the ghost and settles (on the third cut) for wallowing in a fine grey mist of inert noise, a fog hanging over the national psyche like a spell of permanent bad weather. The more he tries to dispel these clouds, by using his metaphysical bellows (built after an early model by Copernicus), the worse things get; he only succeeds in thickening the textures until we all go home with our clothes soaked through with this dratted misty dew. The barely audible radio voices on this track do little to lighten the mood.

The final piece, a suitable taste of what our forthcoming “end of times” might resemble, is largely characterised by a sense of discontinuity, of terrible chasms between thought and action, a time when any transmitted information arrives in broken and unfinished chunks. Plenty of aural metaphors on this album, then, which can be decoded and used to diagnose the state of affairs in the UK just now (need I say more). I realise I make this exact same observation every time I review a dsic record, but it’s true; he packs in more hard facts per square inch than your daily Twitter feed. From 11th January 2018.