Getting Smudged and Liking It

Tom Djll — Smudge (Soul on Rice, 2006)

This one’s part of a stack of recent music recently given to the station by Tom Djll, a trumpeter, electronics dabbler, and the brains behind the ambitious Mockracy music/theater production.

Smudge has Djll in electronics mode, often using the trumpet as a sound source. Most tracks feature a variety of metallic swooshes and drones, but the altered trumpet comes through clearly in some tracks, like the buzzy fanfare of “Schizy.”

A couple of tracks stick to a dronelike consistency, but more often, Djll features a sequence of different sounds. It’s not a Jackson Pollack splatterfest; more a set of Mark Rothkos overlaid irregularly to form a new collage, made of individual parts reflecting stillness but combining into a dynamic jumble.

The 15-minute “Split” is the pinnacle of that metaphor, featuring a raspy slow burn, a deep metallic pulse, and sparse stretches of modified trumpet groans. I also like the closing track, “Patina,” which moves from slow doom chimes into the high-pitched tones of a UFO taking off, then rounds things out with blobular, pulsing sounds. That’s the track that KZSU DJs seem to be latching onto.

There’s a pleasing variety here. I’ve highlighted some of the more active tracks, but there are rewards in the quiet, pensive rides, too.