The arrival of new material from New Zealand’s Omit is always cause for celebration in these parts. Clinton Williams, the brains behind the Omit project, has been quietly turning out amazing sonic landscapes for many years, starting with cassettes and moving on to larger outings like this double cd on the Helen Scarsdale Agency label. For my money, Williams can’t be beat at this particular game. I’m hard pressed to think of a more consistent and consistently engaging musician toiling away for as long as he’s been at it. The peak of the Omit back catalog is the “Quad” 3CD box on Corpus Hermeticum, lovingly packaged, and aching for reissue (hint, hint). Williams’ discography is vast, and everything I’ve had the chance to hear has been stunning. One of the key qualities of his music is its sense of personal vision and interior nature. A trip through “Quad” (complete with mysterious and beautiful hand drawings to map out the journey) is akin to wandering around a desolate yet beautiful new planet without signposts or signifiers. One gets the sense his music is entirely created deep in the bowels of a New Zealand basement, far from external influence and perhaps even social engagement. His mastery is such that with very limited sonic means (often employing cheap cassette recorders to capture the sound, for example), he is able to take the listener to utterly alien worlds.
“Interceptor” is unique in his catalog for its restraint and sparse sound, yet the work is unmistakably that of Williams. Each track seems to carry ghostly pulses, implied rhythms, distant clicks and whirrs, and it’s easy to get pulled into the sound of the netherworld that he deftly creates out of minimal sources. It’s Williams’ ability to use so few elements, and yet to make them instantly compelling that comes to the fore on this release. Melodies are implicit rather than foregrounded, and a foreboding sense of melancholy is the result. And while it may sound like a well-trodden cliché, Omit’s music is that rare example of art that seems both inhuman and deeply personal at the same time. The double cd medium also lends comparison to Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works, Volume II”, although for the DIY set rather than the dance crowd. But similar to that masterwork, Williams demonstrates how the simplest of sounds coaxed from electronic machines can tell fascinating and compelling stories, and even convey complex emotional content. And while some might relegate the music to a background role given its sparse nature, it’s really best heard in the dark and loudly, where Williams can lull you into his vacuum-generated magnetic sway. In this context, it’s a modern psychedelic record that he’s created, one perfect for escape and reverie. This is an entirely successful and gorgeous release that rewards repeated listening and obsessive concentration. 9/10 -- Eric Hardiman (1 July, 2009)