Antimatter, “Reset”

August 29, 2011
By Travis Bird

San Francisco’s Xopher Davidson has earned a name for himself as a detail man, through his mastering work of many new electronic and Minimalist releases (as Mixture151) and through his music as Antimatter.  But he’s not just being tidy—he’s working with extremely organic, very musical sound environments.  Case in point is Reset, his latest as Antimatter, which rewards close listening endlessly on every level.  Davidson built the circuit featured here over the course of ten years, sourced from obsolete signal generators, Cold War-era scientific testing equipment, and analog computers.  The 11 pieces that result are drones that utilize the entire frequency spectrum, with tones, static, and other layers that are quite natural—both cold and expressive, extraordinarily elegant in their seamless arrangement of discrete parts.  “Band Limited Impulse Train,” the album’s apex, captures this sense, immersing the reader into an evocative 10-minute sonic bath.  The other pieces are just as non-directive, just as vivid.  The sounds themselves are reminiscent of everything from natural substances and field recordings to harsh industrial-mechanical movements, but resist being categorized, preserving the mystery of their origins.  This is simply an amazingly executed set of modular music.



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