- A revealing
and occasionally brutal glimpse into the soul of industrial power-electronics
after the style of Merzbow. "Have you ever asked yourself 'What is the sound
of energy?' John Duncan has been trying for years to explain the composition
of matter through sound, and not everyone can understand this -- but once
the door is opened everything suddenly becomes easy. 'Tap Internal' is beautiful
and, in classic Duncan style, cruel -- in that it puts you in contact with
our deepest psyche and lays it bare, turning the auricular membrane inside
out, leaving an indelible mark of new frequencies
that are beautiful to abandon yourself to. But watch out: just at the moment
of hypnosis the scenario is completely convoluted and the sound becomes coarse
and varied, cuts the air and tries to attack. The nightmare begins again,
and once more the listener is forced to change his attitude, define a new
reaction to the input. The beauty and uniqueness of Duncan's music is fully
captured in this continuous change of situations, dynamics, sounds and emotions
which is the microscopic photography of life itself." --Jon Wozencroft, Touch.
One harrowing 47-minute track. The squeamish need not apply. [JG]
- Tap Internal
maps the topography of listening where buzzsaw horizons give way to a vista
of meditative bliss. Despite the aura of magnetic dread, I
help but feel strangely comforted by the yearning, bowing buzz, which recalls
nothing for me so much as the resonant passage of airplanes above pinetopped
mountains. And maybe that's the point: Tap Internal points to those places
outside "civilization" (nature, energy, the body) suddenly brought into close
contact with the shavings of technology. The result is like a metal form humming
with life and bristling with the detritus it's attracted. Intensely objective
music, not quite documentary but created from its snapshots - almost like
forms of measurement (the hertz, the bit) treated like artworks: framed, hung,
regarded. And painfully pure.
new release by genius John Duncan who should need no introduction, after releases
on labels like Trente oiseaux, Touch, die Stadt, RRRecords,... many performances,...
One 46:47 minute piece which is a work on a rather digital sound texture,
but we are not talking here of a new glitch work... Layers of sounds made
with enigmatic digital sounds, rather low, floating between your two ears
(a stereo effect makes it even more crazy), with only subtle variations, it
creates kind of movements, some parts are rather agressive and high, some
are made with low deep drones evolving slowly, some are more in the field
of digital noise,... It's really dynamic, emotional, beautiful and elegant.
Excellent. X-ray image on the sleeve. "Tap internal is beautiful and -- in
classical "Duncan style" -- cruel" Massimo Ricci.
second release on Touch ranges fom minimal to drone to harsh. You're drawn into
his metallic rhythms, only to be jolted from your complacency by the hissing
sounds of escaping tension. Low rumblings build up to a harsh u-turn into static,
then lull you back into a false sense of easy listening. Duncan has also put
all these twists and turns into one single track to be sure and keep you strapped
into your seat for his compelling aural journey
remote induction (UK):
John Duncan's Tap Internal is one long track, about 40 odd minutes of sound.
A piece which uses and explores electricity as sound source and inspiration.
This sees the sound go through a range of associated sound in this period, going
though clear and distinct phases. Listening to the release the differences in
these phases is clear, but perhaps challenge easy differentiation in terms of
vocabulary. I fear an attempt to make such a description would less than a thrilling
read and in the end would not provide fair impression of the release. As a piece
it is about sound structure and exploration rather than attempting to fit in
with any clear musical style. The cover to the release is complimentary to the
feel of the album, the flash of an x-ray offering a snap-shot of revelation.
Your Flesh (USA):
So why doesn't John Duncan get more credit as a world class sonic architect?
The guy has made amazing music for years and often crafts incredible walls of
sound out of what seems to be raw magnetic waves or slivers of tape. By today's
point-and-click standards, Duncan may be primitive but I think I'll at least
be coming back to Tap Internal or past classics like Klaar long after most glitchsters
are programming the Bundeswher recruiting Web site. Duncan's secret seems to
be an instinct for balancing, pacing, and the willingness to push the meters
up into the red. Thick tides of noise can flow out at any point in one of his
recordings and his placement always seems perfect. There's a sense of tension
building, as well as the raw surprise evident when a swathe of noise lashes
out. John Duncan can work with what seems to be magnetic force. [Bruce Adams]