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Smudge Another Yesterday

(Preservation; US: 10 Nov 2009; UK: 6 Apr 2009)

Sound rumbler Paul Gough from Sydney, Australia, best known as Pimmon, has a healthy corpus of obscure releases behind him, but he’s perhaps best known in the States for his place on the laptop titan collaborative album Afternoon Tea and as one of Kid606’s go-to guys in the early ‘naughts Tigerbeat6 collective. Easily distinguishing himself from that prankster lot, Pimmon’s music was far more textural and tactile-sensual than it was techno-reactionary. Smudge Another Yesterday arrived six years post his last Tigerbeat6 outing Snaps, Crackles, Pops. That album’s title was a clever allusion to the granuliform glitch-pop Gough sought to unleash unto the world. Smudge doesn’t announce its arrival with the wheel-reinventing fanfare expected of a long absence, but if listeners can make it past the Rubik’s cube-like impenetrability of the objet d’art packaging, an intensely rich bounty of abstract density awaits.


“Come Join the Choir Invisible” swoops in on a swiftly crescendoed upturn of voices coalescing into a flock, their Ligeti-esque timbre inverted by an equally quick denouement. “Evil Household Ceremony” follows, thrusting with the sounds of violent degradation, eventually countered by a dolorous epileptic tremolo drone that undercuts the evil of the title. Overall, it’s a slow start, but the lead-in is worth the wait for “It Will Never Snow in Sydney”, whose deterministic and doom-laden forecast is contradicted by gentle cacophony and bristles of voice. The labile dissonance soon turns shades numinous and makes the entire album a worthwhile affair.


Though “It Will Never Snow in Sydney” is a peak moment, the album’s latter half is the stronger of the two, from the muffled oneiric messages within the machinal loops of “Don’t Remember” to “Devrieux”, which obliterates the album’s reluctant attraction toward melody with searing noise before busting into a wonky scuzz-breakbeat one DJ Screw too far of Mount Kimbie. “Hidden”, meanwhile, offers nothing particularly new, but the irradiated sun’s glare baking off the feedback distortion is always a welcome area for a sonic tanning. The tender Aphex tones clouded by the ruckus are juxtaposed by dark bass tones, giving the whole affair a mournful tone. Smudge Another Yesterday is a delight from a multitalented outlander whose visits are always welcome on these shores.

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Timothy Gabriele is a writer who studied English and Film at the University of Massachussetts at Amherst. He currently lives in the New Haven, CT region with his fmaily. His column, The Difference Engine, appears regularly at PopMatters. He can be found twittering @Wildcorrective and blogging at 555 Enterprises.


Tagged as: drone | glitch | pimmon | preservation
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