Brisbane-based label half/theory specialise in material by local artists with intriguing approaches to DVD technology as a medium for avant garde multimedia.
Diaspora consist of Lloyd Barrett and Joe Musgrove. The title of this disc is a rather offhand yet appropriate description of the visuals, which consist of fields of random, diaphanous colour patterns drifting over one another. It's very suggestive, and the viewer is likely to perceive faces, human figures, landscapes and so on, swimming into view, only to dissolve back into randomness. It's carefully edited to a soundtrack of equally vague, blurred, processed improv, based mostly around drones and electronics. Though I was unable to utilise the surround sound option, it's evident that this would be especially appropriate for this work.The music stands up to listening without the images and is also included as a bonus CD.
It's like an advanced version of gazing into the embers a fire to an extent. But it's not just an updated lava lamp, chill-out experience. Though the random images are often beautiful, they can quickly turn disturbing, resembling visions from fever dreams.These changes of mood are enhanced by the music - for example, the appearance of guttural growling and cut-up, whispering voices. This, like everything about the work, is very subjective and open to interpretation, and
successive viewings tend to leave differing impressions, but a recurring sensation I experienced was of moving through dense fogs of alien weather systems towards an obscured landscape that always dissolves before it can be reached.
It's a very psychedelic and engrossing work, with plenty of repeat viewing value. It's considerably more subtle and welcoming that Botborg's eyeball-melting strobefest for the same label, but equally vigourous and inventive. 7/10 -- Paul Condon (27 June, 2006)