The Structure – Wisteria (CD-R)

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I received two CD-Rs wrapped in folded B&W paper mysteriously in the mail; I’m assuming they came from The Structure himself, so thanks for the albums (although I don’t remember giving out my address, so kudos to you for finding me!). Anyway, The Structure is a noise project from Dominick Colucci, an advancement of sound from his earlier projects The Men of Easy Leisure and Mongolian Blooming. Wisteria comes wrapped in self-printed paper, with a collage of pictures that are somewhat difficult to make out, although a blurry close-up of teeth dominates the frame. A coffee- or tea-stained track list is included inside, with a menacing quote from Jeremiah 19:9 speaking of the wrath of God if the sinners don’t sway from their path. The close-up of teeth is also printed on the disc.

One track of 20 minutes is included on this disc, somewhat broken into parts: “Wisteria/Birds/Old Ogre.” The disc opens with a heavy wall of static which sometimes sputters and shifts, until a loud vocal growl from The Structure cuts in overtop of the static. Although I really like the heavy wall, I’m not too big a fan on the screams, as I think its exaggerated presence in the foreground detracts from the wall The Structure has built, and there’s not an attraction to it in the same way that there is with the pained and torturous yells of power electronics.

The track quickly switches to amp buzz, and there’s a weird sort of transition from one idea to the next that seems like an awkward splicing of the tracks. Then we get some electronic blips, leading to manipulated vocals distorted and layered atop one another. Occasional lashes of static and a low background rumble complement the samples, until a new judder of static sound obliterates the voices along with a martial beat. Again, the vocal samples don’t do much for me, but The Structure’s rhythmic static wall is very nicely maintained. Squeaky tones cut in and out, but not for long until we’re caught up in another loop of stuttering alarms. At the half-way mark, screaming comes in again, but this time it’s a little more suited for the noise; it almost mimics the static squall, and the high-pitched vocals complement nicely.

A better shift in texture brings in a distant whirring of drone and whispered vocals. Both the transition and the idea are welcomed; the drone helps to break up the intensity of the previous harshness, and the electronic buzzing captures the darker mood of this segment. A slow burn begins to erupt with sharp echoing crashes of noise and high-pitched vocal screeches, and again, the yells work better in this kind of misanthropic, abyssal context. The lengthy track ends with static laced with synth tones and distant growls. The tones sound slightly out of place, as if the theme from Tales from the Darkside and a hurricane somehow mixed together to create some weird amalgamation – an interesting idea, but one that probably shouldn’t meld.

Wisteria has some really interesting ideas, and it attempts to meld the structural tendencies of HNW with PE theatrics – yelling, growling, some synth- and musique concrete-esque sounds – but where The Structure best succeeds is in, ironically, his structures of static walls. The manipulations within and the rhythmic beats are very nice, but the added experimentation detracts from the sound, rather than adding depth to it.

Get it from The Structure’s ReverbNation

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