Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
I Work in Communications — Kiss My Emoji Ring
(tier.debut, 2022, MC / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2022-09-29
This new release by the oddly named trio I Work in Communications exists as a testament to how talented and imaginative musicians can react to unprecedented circumstances, in this case, the lockdowns imposed by Covid-19. Marius Mathiszik, Dave de Rose, and George Crowley found themselves separated by geography, but didn’t let that stop them from being creative. Mathiszik recorded ambient guitar loops and edited them into a form which he presented to de Rose with the instruction to improvise drum parts in a single take per track with no click. Mathiszik took the result, layered on some more parts (synthesizers, electronic, bass guitar) and sent them along to Crowley, who improvised sax parts to go on them. Mathiszik then put it all together, adding in more parts to fill out the harmonies implied in the sax parts. The six tracks use variations of this method, featuring the parts added in different order or with secondary improvisations added, but the resulting music is quite consistent and coherent. This is improvisation used as a method of composition, if you will, and the sounds are fascinating and full of unexpected turns, though nothing is jarring or harsh. “Blubberplanet I” starts in free-form territory, with synthesizers and odd echoes augmented by non-metric drums and processed saxophone phrases. “Mission to Find a Christmas Tree on Mars” brings in a nice groove where bass and drums dance around each other without committing to a definite form. Simple melodic phrases on guitar and synths add a touch of cohesion. This track features a really distinctive take on what might be called the “breakdown” section. “F# Politics” includes a twangy guitar and more than a little chaos, but nothing that sounds grating or industrial. The other tracks, “Nebula,” “Take That Drone Off My Lawn,” and “Blubberplanet II,” all continue the playful, lighthearted mood, almost as if Joy Division took some happy pills and listened to Bitches’ Brew repeatedly. Kiss My Emoji Ring is an outstanding example of music that defies categorization in a way that is so natural-sounding you just want to accept it as it is without analysis.
Related artist(s): Marius Mathiszik / I Work in Communications
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