Gray Wisps of Sound

Divided StateSpurious Emissions (Edgetone, 2019)

dividedstate-spuriousThis is synthesizer-driven noise in a gentler vein, a hovering fog. It’s built from understated, patient sounds, an aesthetic close to ambient but with more motion. The backgrounds are built from field recordings and distorted samples — ghost images resembling distorted birdsong, crunchy footfalls, a ghostly railroad crossing, or sparse record-vinyl static.

“Synthesizer” is a loaded word that suggests all manner of dated sounds, but Spurious Emissions doesn’t come across as campy. The occasional sci-fi noises don’t appear as laser blasts. They’re more like pensive, sustained notes, mixing with the gray wisps of the sampled sounds.

“Arboreal Metaphor” turns up the echoing, resonant effects for a broad-landscape view before coalescing into a language of content, scribbled sounds. Most tracks, though, are more in the vein of “Shaman of Static Motion,” which hovers ghostlike, a toneless ambience colored by the occasional electronic buzz.

Divided State is the duo of Andre Custodio, who performs solo noise music under the name Nihil Communication, and Leroy Clark. Both contribute to the synths and the sampled sounds. 

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