Bruce Gilbert: Oblivio Agitatum

[22 November 2009]

By John Bergstrom

PopMatters Associate Music Editor

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?”

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