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Bruce Gilbert

Oblivio Agitatum

(Editions Mego; US: 13 Oct 2009; UK: 5 Oct 2009)

To answer a rarely asked question: No, being a former member of underground avant-pop legends Wire is not a valid excuse for turning out mind-numbing “avant-garde” drones like Oblivio Agitatum. Gilbert is no stranger to such “challenging” endeavors, though this is his first truly new solo work in a decade. Over three tracks and 40 minutes, you get nondescript electronic droning that a three-legged dog could make with an old synthesizer and an hour of spare time. Yes, there are slight modulations, and no, they don’t make Oblivio Agitatum any more listenable. “Is this music?” Teenage Fanclub once asked playfully. Of course not, but a better question here would be, “Is this a joke?”

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


Tagged as: bruce gilbert | wire
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