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SOMEC – Source of Uncertainty


SOMEC - Source of UncertaintySource of Uncertainty is one of those records which pushes the boundaries of expectation quite a bit further than a cursory glance at the list of influences might suggest. So maybe there is techno, electro, Detroit and Berlin-style electronic music in here, and certainly a sense of experiment that is worthy of the term; but Giovanni Napoli’s second Haunter Records release as SOMEC follows on the heels of his delightfully titled Arbitrary Function Generator cassette in a dazzling splash of often highly abstracted tweaks, trills, rhythms and bleeps which are very much their own thing.

This is music to become lost in while following SOMEC’s lead via unfamiliar paths, a road less travelled along the wires of controlled voltages and modulated frequencies. So where there are beats, they might buzz and thrum, ripple or even occasionally thump into a quasi-stellar heartbeat pulsations which resonate with the hum of electrical life worthy of the most ardent re-animator. Instead of melody, there are scrapes, rattles, plucked somethings and other noises so immediately unidentifiable as to take Source of Uncertainty from the realms of electronic into musique concrète via electroacoustics, particularly as encountered among the rattly switchbacks of “Skan”.

This is the sound of a dedicated knob-twiddler pushing his modular devices into the realms of the plain weird and often far-out, no more so than on to soaring rise and fall of the waveforms which lift the final notes of the emotive “Exclusive Disjunction” into the realms of ur-electronica. When the opening and concluding versions of “Drone DPO” ramp up the saws and opens the filters, it’s like having a support knocked out from under, the wheezing accordion-like fragments pulling off to one side as an elementally analogue sequence muscles into the foreground.

This is a trick that Napoli pulls off with the unnerving skill of someone who knows that, while it’s good to get lost in the process, that all those gates and routes, the modulations and layers are inherently tweakable to the performer’s delight, that if the listener is to get right into the depths alongside the person with their hands on the controls, then there necessarily has to be a bond constructed between them.

This SOMEC does not by simple repetition and trance-induction of the more familiar linear kind. Rather, Napoli lets his machines have their head, no doubt patching and switching to his heart’s content in the delicate dance of human and music-making machinery engaged in febrile feedback sessions that, when they result in the six gems of the kind which make up Source of Uncertainty, are apt to invigorate the possibilities of analogue synthesis as they unfold.

-Linus Tossio-


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