Nicholas David – Monolith Transmission No. 0 (C30, Not On Label)

There’s not a lot of information about the Monolith Transmission series nor Nicholas David, and when you visit the website for Monolith Transmission, all you get is a reroute to an email address. However, it’s obvious from the noise presented by David that the sound source is from intercepted transmission signals, the static gleaned from listening to radio waves for minutes or hours.

The first side features very minimal static signals; there’s some buzzing, some fuzz that is somewhat muffled, and it sounds a lot like someone simply flicking back and forth across radio signals. However, it’s also somewhat interesting, like listening to white noise for a chance to hear an EVP or perhaps even voyeuristic in its eavesdropping. There’s not a lot going on on this side, but it creates a drone feeling; it’s not harsh, but pleasant, and even if David isn’t really doing anything, there’s something to simply listening to the static sounds that’s pleasing to the ears.

Side B has a different sort of sound; it doesn’t exactly sound like a transmission, but more of a synth tone that oscillates for a while. It has more structure, more rhythm, and seems manipulated in some degree by electronics. Still another interesting listen that makes good use of transmission sounds towards the end, with an actual sample of speech.

While it might be a bit misleading to call these transmissions “monoliths”, David does capture some interesting sounds with mostly minimal radio buzz. And who knows – perhaps one of these times he might capture something truly out-of-this-world. For now, though, these waves carry with them the entertaining prospect of listening to almost nothing at all, something that feels quite natural and refreshing.

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