Columbus experimental artist Joe Panzner released Clearing, Polluted as a part of Copy For Your Records’ busy 2011 schedule. Over the course of three extended tracks, Panzner reveals multi-dimensional electronic drones, contrasted by strategic silence or patient building. Fittingly, Panzner prepared the tracks over the course of 2010 and 2011, and it seems like a time-consuming endeavor that is well-reflected throughout the disc.
Taken as a whole set, the disc starts with the slowly developing “Young Theorist” and moves to two more densely-populated tracks. “Hindsight is 50/50″ and “Less Than a Feeling” close the disc with nearly 30 minutes of diverse noise, filling in every gap implied during the suspenseful waiting of “Young Theorist.”
It’s not that “Young Theorist” doesn’t have noise — there are sharp, slicing high frequencies and explosive synthetic crashes, but Panzner paces those noisy cuts with well-placed silence or quiet sequences. By contrast, “Hindsight is 50/50″ is much noisier, and the quiet or more-subdued parts of that track remain filled with dense sequences of noise.
There’s a clanging, sharp feel to this disc that is almost indescribable — it’s almost like noise that you can feel in your teeth. It’s not grating, though; it’s not annoying, it’s not abrasive. Beautiful washes of pink noise or less-defined synthetic drones contrast the bubbling rave-ups on the last two tracks.
The whole thing feels like anticipation, or preparation. In this regard, the silence and building intensity of the first cut stayed on my mind throughout the entire set; the final tracks almost served as a realization of the potential of those empty spaces. Overall, a dynamic, well-timed sequence of electronic noise.