Righard Kapp's South African-based One Minute Trolley Dash imprint was one of my favorite discoveries of 2005. Not only is Kapp shoveling out fantastic, hypnotic drones, but the OMTD packaging is second to none in the world of CD-R labels. Not only that, it was also great to hear what kind of things are happening on a continent that's oft-forgotten when it comes to experimental music. Kapp's doing a great service for us all.
"Puin" is the first collaborative release between Kapp and Gareth Dawson, but one can only hope it's not the last. The disjointed electronic spatter is like a blackened-phoenix. Instead of rising from the ashes, it's being pulled down under its own weight, screaming toward the earth like a comet from the heavens. Acid inflections permeate the walls of dizzying electronic drones on "Ulan Ude Irkutsk." In the middle of the piece, this soaring, noisy scrawl brings to mind the otherworldly expositions of The Skaters. Bending each note while delaying and distorting them into oblivion is an underrated talent, but Kapp and Dawson have it nailed. Hints of melody try to creep through the ethereal fog, but each note is quickly reigned in and melted down into aural gold.
A subtle, low-end hum is diffused through the opening piece, "Boarding." Again, there are fragments of melodies always trying to make an appearance here, but the duo never lets them get too far. It's one big tease, but orchestrated perfectly. As the piece moves on, it's form finally reveals itself. The reverb-laden synths promise of greatness yet to come. Each piece of fuzz floats in the air just a second too long, finally being absorbed into the mass of this spectral hallucination. It's like being stuck in an echo chamber, and it's delightful. This feeling seeps into the second track, it's sister track, "Departure." And that's just what this piece is, a departure into the black cosmos. By the time this flight touches down just outside the Andromeda galaxy, you've been washed clean in bleach and covered in latex. The execution of this track is silky-smooth. It leaves no doubt about the talents of these two artists.
"Puin" is the kind of album that gives me faith in electronics-based noise/drone. In a field that is oversaturated with mediocre crap (much of which gets all the hype), Kapp and Dawson's explorations are a breath of fresh air. Well, maybe not fresh, per s? - it's the dirt and grime of these recordings that make them so great. These two know what they're doing and they pull it off flawlessly. "Puin" is the kind of album that puts groups like Dead Machines to shame. Balancing full-on anarchy with subtle melodies and mind-bending drones, "Puin" has something for everyone. Recommended. 8/10 -- Brad Rose (28 June, 2006)